A Ballarat boy will not be able to stand for at least 12 weeks after suffering serious injuries in a boating accident near Mildura on Christmas Day.
Sixteen year-old Nathan Rumler and father Matt both sustained extensive injuries when they were thrown into rocks on the bank of the Murray river after coming off their ski biscuit, which was being towed behind a friend’s speedboat.
The family were just one day into a 10-day end of year holiday when the accident occurred.
Nathan was transferred from the Mildura Base Hospital to The Alfred in Melbourne on Boxing Day, after suffering 10 broken ribs, a broken shoulder bone, pelvis, fibula and foot, a punctured lung, and a torn neck muscle.
On Wednesday Nathan underwent surgery to repair his broken pelvis, and also received four staples in the back of his head.
Mother Darlene Rumler said while the family were hoping Nathan would return to the Ballarat Base Hospital in the coming days, his recovery would be slow.
“The next bit is just about getting him back on his feet.
“It’s just about taking it day by day.”
While it remains to be seen whether Nathan has suffered any permanent injuries, the Springbank footballer has been informed by doctors he will not be able to play football in the future.
Mrs Rumler also said the accident had left a cloud hanging over when the Phoenix P-12 Community College student would be able to return to school.
“Nathan is a bit worried about it given he is about to go into year 10.”
The accident was the first time Nathan had been on a ski biscuit, and the first time Mr Rumler had been behind a boat on the river.
The pair were unable to recall what led them to hit the river bank.
Mr Rumler, who was released from the Mildura Base Hospital on Monday, said there were a number of dangers people needed to consider when behind a boat on the river.
“Compared to a lake it’s a completely different scenario.”
The UGL employee said he would be unable to work for between six to 10 weeks after breaking his shoulder bone, eight ribs, a toe, and fracturing two vertebrae.
Mr Rumler said the company had assured him he would keep his job, despite having used up all his sick leave prior to the accident.
While the family had visited the river annually over the summer period, they had not used speedboats on their previous holidays.
Mrs Rumler said it would be the last time the family used speedboats while on the river.
“I’m looking forward to Nathan coming back to Ballarat so I can get some rest.”