When This Little Boy Fell From A Balcony, His Dad Risked Everything To Try And Save Him

Image: Bianca Park

Brad Lewis has lived every parent’s worst nightmare. He saw his son Oscar teetering on the edge of a balcony, a concrete driveway sprawling beneath it. However, rather than watching a horrible accident unfold, the father sprang into action and put his own life in danger to save his son.

Brad was no stranger to heroics. He had served as an army officer before settling down in Australia with his wife Suz and his two sons, Oscar and Connor. He then worked as a deep-sea construction worker in the North Sea, toiling for hours, hundreds of feet underwater.

But the father-of-two was more than his job titles, according to a GoFundMe page set up in his honor. “Brad […] has always spent his days supporting others, giving more than he gets, putting smiles on faces and being a lovely family man,” it said.

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On August 4, 2018, the ex-serviceman would prove that last statement to be true. Indeed, he risked his life for Oscar. The Lewis family had gone to lunch at a friend’s house in Sydney, and the father-and-son duo started shooting a Nerf gun for fun.

One of the pair accidentally miss-fired some of the foam bullets over the edge of the home’s second-floor balcony. Of course, the eight-year-old wanted to see where they had gone, so he ran out outside to see.

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That was when the fun, father-son game turned into a life-or-death situation. Oscar somehow lost his balance and began teetering on the edge of the balcony. As he began to fall, Brad made a move to save him.

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“Brad was close enough to see what was happening, lunged at Oscar and managed to grab him,” the GoFundMe page said. However, “with Brad’s speed and weight headed in Oscar’s direction in the hope of saving him, they both ended up going over the balcony.”

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Father and son dropped about 13 feet toward the house’s concrete driveway. In the moments between falling and landing, Lewis made another quick decision – he “pinned Oscar to his chest and curled around him so that he could take the brunt of the impact, not Oscar,” the GoFundMe page explained.

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The pair hit the ground in front of all of the families who had gathered at the house for lunch. Beau Worthington, Lewis’s friend and the owner of the home from which he fell, was the first to reach the injured father and son.

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Worthington told local paper Manly Daily, “I’ve known Brad all my life, and he does everything for his family. He’s a tough guy. To see him like that was a freak of nature.” Because the diver took the impact of the fall, he was left with a slew of life-threatening injuries.

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Brad’s GoFundMe page described the trauma to his body. “He sustained major head and neck injuries, cracking open his skull, bruising the brain, fracturing the C6 vertebra, among a number of other head and body injuries,” it said.

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But Brad’s trauma did serve its purpose. Oscar sustained far fewer injuries than his father, although he did fracture his skull and suffer a concussion. Still, “if not for Brad’s heroic actions, it is unlikely that his son […] would have been so lucky,” the GoFundMe page said.

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And Oscar was Brad’s main concern even after hitting the ground and experiencing such pain. Whittington reported that the father-of-two could only ask, “Are the kids okay?” He also implored, “Don’t let them see me like this.”

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As Brad lost and regained consciousness, he also begged Whittington to help him. “Don’t let me die, mate,” he said. Soon, paramedics arrived on the scene to drive Oscar to Royal North Shore Hospital. But the ex-serviceman was taken by air ambulance, as his condition was critical.

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Indeed, according to the GoFundMe page, the fact that Lewis survived the fall at all left medical professionals scratching their heads. “Doctors have expressed their astonishment that Brad is in fact still alive sustaining the injuries that he did,” the page said.

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Still, Brad’s injuries would cause a huge change in his life. The deep-sea diver would need up to a year to recover, possibly longer. His wife took a leave of absence from her new job to care for him and Oscar, who continued to suffer from the effects of the accident.

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After leaving the hospital, Brad would need continued care – help with housework, childcare, transportation to hospital appointments and the like, especially once his wife went back to work. Therefore, the GoFundMe page hoped to raise $150,000 for the family to help them through that first year.

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As of September 2018, more than 1,500 people had donated nearly $95,000 towards that goal. On top of that, comments flooded into the GoFundMe page lauding the brave father’s actions. “Brad… OMG! You give and you love. You are amazing!” wrote Justine French. “I am a father, and you, sir, are an inspiration,” added George Jones.

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However, when Brad spoke to Manly Daily from the hospital, he played off the courage for which so many were praising him. Indeed, the ex-serviceman told his wife via text that Oscar was his “biggest hero,” and that, in actual fact, his son had rescued him.

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No matter what Brad thought about his own actions, he did realize just how lucky they were that day. “I think any father would have done [the same] for their child if put in the same situation. I sit here now thanking my lucky stars [that] Oscar and I are both here and moving forward,” he said.

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