‘Things can change in a matter of seconds’
ROCKHAMPTON’S Todd Harmsworth was five weeks into his own recovery when he learned of Steven Ball’s devastating accident.
‘Bally’ suffered life-threatening injuries, which included massive brain trauma, when he fell more than 3m from a tree in his home town of Biloela on June 29.
He was transported to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, his wife Kate and four young children rushing to the capital city to be by his side.
Bally played cricket for the Gracemere Bulls, which is where a teenage Todd first met him.
The severity of his accident struck a very personal chord with Todd who in May was injured in a boating accident.
He fractured his C4 and C5 vertebrae, the same injury that left NRL player Alex McKinnon a quadriplegic in 2014.
The outcome was far less drastic for Todd, who now spends every day counting his blessings.
He said Bally’s accident had reinforced just how precious life is and just how, in an instant, lives can be changed.
It is what prompted Todd and members of Gracemere Cricket Club to organise a fundraiser for Bally this weekend.
It will be held at the clubhouse from 4pm on Saturday and consist of different games and a raffle with one of the prizes a signed cricket bat from the Brisbane Heat’s BBL08 squad.
Todd said a number of businesses were supporting the cause, including Gracemere Butchers, Rebel, 62 Sports, Moltec, Tradebusters, Degani, Rocky Sports Club and Bridgestone.
“We just want to do what we can for Bally and his family, who have a long road ahead of them,” he said.
“Every dollar is going to count and we’d be grateful for anything people can contribute.
“I was in a neck brace when I was told about Bally and it really hit home just how lucky I was and how dramatically things can change in a matter of seconds.
“Bally’s such a nice, kind fella, a very gentle man. He looked out for everyone and was always keen to catch up whenever I went to Biloela.
“He has a great family and a really good bunch of mates in Biloela who are right behind him.
“I’m so glad the broader community is rallying behind him as well.”
A GoFundMe page set up by family member Kerryn Benecke has so far raised more than $25,000.