IT'S every parent's worst nightmare.
You're sitting at home watching television, thinking about what to have for dinner when a police officer knocks on your door.
He says your child has been involved in a car accident, has been rushed to hospital with head injuries and placed into a coma.
That was the start of a nightmare Silkstone parents Sue and Russell Hambleton became trapped in for more than a week; only this story has a happy ending.
On the afternoon of April 4, their 24-year-old son Jacob had gone to look at a unit, after deciding to move out of home.
Jacob can't remember what happened but it is believed he was hit by a truck after stepping off his bus at the corner of Blackstone Rd and Russell St.
The incident is under investigation.
Jacob's injuries were life-threatening.
When the police arrived at Sue's door she was in shock and could hardly believe what she was being told.
Sue and her family rushed to the PA Hospital where Jacob was on life support and about to be transferred from the Emergency Department to the Intensive Care Unit.
For 10 days, Sue and Russell had no idea what would happen.
"It was like a 10-day nightmare I just couldn't wake up from," Sue said.
"There was a time when Russell and I had that conversation about organising a coffin and what would we do if the worst happened.
"We were wishing we wouldn't have to but the doctors had told us he could live or die; that it could happen today or tomorrow.
"We didn't know if he would wake up, or if he did, if he would have brain damage or be his old self.
"They just didn't know, which was heartbreaking."
Jacob was in an induced coma, had bleeding on his brain, his skull was fractured in five places, his rib was broken and he was given paralysing medication.
Eventually the decision was made to remove the life support machines and bring Jacob out of the induced coma.
"They told us he would wake up, but said they didn't know what would happen next, whether he would be able to talk..," Sue said.
"On day 10, he woke up and I remember asking him to squeeze my hand if you know it's me.
"He squeezed it so I said, 'squeeze as hard as you can if you know it's me, mum', and he squeezed really hard.
"It was amazing. When he opened his eyes both my husband and I said, 'this is a miracle'.
"Jacob knew us, but he couldn't talk (because he was still intubated).
"He knew who he was but had no idea where he was, or why, or what had happened.
"When he said he was hungry because he hadn't had lunch that's when I knew Jacob was back.
"He'll be the first to say so if he's hungry."
As each day went by in the hospital Jacob became more and more himself including rearranging the furniture.
"I do like things arranged a certain way," Jacob said, sitting on his family couch cuddling his best mate, a cockatiel named Gizmo.
"(When they told me about the accident) I felt scared. Scared that it had happened."
To look at Jacob now, known by his neighbours as the Mayor of Doyle St, only a couple of weeks after he was rushed to hospital, it would be hard to know he came so close to dying.
A healing cut on the back of his skull if the only obvious visible sign of the horrendous ordeal the family went through.
"When I saw him hooked up to all the machines, all I wanted to do was hug him," Sue said. "We're so grateful to have him home."
Jacob will start physiotherapy soon and doctors will continue to monitor his condition but his recovery outlook is positive and he was allowed home on Monday.
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