Proelss family tells of Ricky's healing

Helping hand: Ricky Proelss' siblings Louise Proelss and Steve Abbott with his mother Katrina Proelss, who suffers from a rare blood disease. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

Helping hand: Ricky Proelss' siblings Louise Proelss and Steve Abbott with his mother Katrina Proelss, who suffers from a rare blood disease. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

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Ricky Proelss continues to “tick all the boxes of progress” as his body heals from burns sustained to more than 50 cent of his body, his family said in a statement. 

The former St Patrick’s College student has been in an induced coma since early July when he stumbled into the embers of a bonfire while camping in outback Queensland.

A go fund me page set up to support the family has raised almost $70,000 as of Saturday – more than five times the $12,000 goal first set when the page went live on July 2. 

The 23-year-old was working on a cattle farm in the remote township of Alpha and was camped 70-kilometres away with friends when the accident happened. 

“Although severely burnt and still in a coma, Ricky is ticking all the boxes in terms of progress,” Ricky’s sister Tamara Abbott, speaking on behalf of her family, said. 

“It is hard to see such horrendous injuries but we look forward to and cannot wait to see that cheeky grin and hear him say ‘how good’s that!’”

“Ricky is comfortable and fully grafted. He is reacting to our voices and showing signs of coherency.

“He has amazing care and the staff at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital are wonderful.”

Top end: Ricky Proelss was working in the remote township of Alpha when he stumbled into the burning embers of a bonfire.

Top end: Ricky Proelss was working in the remote township of Alpha when he stumbled into the burning embers of a bonfire.

The family has been struck twice by tragedy in the last 12 months. Ricky’s mum Katrina was last year diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, Myelodysplastic syndrome.

The condition will require a bone marrow transplant, which the 57-year-old is due to undergo at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital in September.

In the meantime she has been booked to undergo chemotherapy while in Brisbane so she can be with her son while he recovers.

“Words cannot begin to express the gratitude we feel to all who have donated, sent messages, called and shown support over the past 12 days,” she said. 

“Our hearts are full and we feel very lucky to still have Ricky with us and an opportunity for our mum to be cured from her awful disease.”

Support: Ballarat Trotting Club, with the support of the Jayde Debutante Ball Committee, will hold a fundraiser for the family on Tuesday. Function coordinator Socorro.

Support: Ballarat Trotting Club, with the support of the Jayde Debutante Ball Committee, will hold a fundraiser for the family on Tuesday. Function coordinator Socorro.

The Ballarat Trotting Club, with the support of the Jayde Debutante Ball Committee, will hold a fundraiser for Ricky and Katrina Proelss on Tuesday, July 18. 

A spokesperson for the Ballarat Trotting Club said: “When tragedy strikes a friend of the Ballarat Trotting Club, as a community, we band together. We step in to help where we can, so with the support of the Jayde Debutante Ball Committee, we extend our love and support.”

Organisers will donate $10 from every ticket sold to the Proelss family. Tickets are $35 and include race entry, racebook and a three course smorgasbord.

Tickets available at ballarattrottingclub.com.au or call 5335 9041.

Visit: www.gofundme.com/rick-and-hurricane