Scott Farrell (centre) with backyard blitz mates (top) Josh Robertson, Luke Harrison, Brendan Willi, Dan Hynes, Craig McMahon and Jed Harrison with Lucas Gillott (front left) and Nathan Locke (front right).
Scott Farrell (centre) with backyard blitz mates (top) Josh Robertson, Luke Harrison, Brendan Willi, Dan Hynes, Craig McMahon and Jed Harrison with Lucas Gillott (front left) and Nathan Locke (front right). Jonno Colfs

Amazing mates' backyard blitz for severely injured friend

AFTER nearly six months in Princess Alexandra Hospital's spinal unit, Warwick man Scott Farrell returned home this afternoon to a big surprise.

Not only were a large group of friends and family waiting to surprise Mr Farrell upon his return from Brisbane, but his backyard and entertaining area had been transformed.

Amongst the crowd was group of mates, led by Lucas Gillott and supervised by Scott's partner Sam Leach, who had banded together for a backyard blitz, taking care of the wishlist Mr Farrell had for his house and garden before he entered hospital.

Mr Farrell was left with serious spinal injuries when he plummeted 15-20m to the ground during a paramotor accident in the Lockyer Valley in early October, and his mates wanted to do something to help him out.

Mr Gillott said he knew Mr Farrell had been planning some renovations to the outdoor area of his home.

"Sam contacted me and said she wanted to organise the work as a surprise for Scott," he said.

"She wanted to pay but I told her we'd see what we could do.

"So I rang a few blokes and organised a bit of a backyard blitz for the family."

All up, Mr Gillott, Brendan Willi, Nathan Locke, Marcel Ragh, Dan Hynes, Luke Harrison, Jed Harrison, Josh Robinson and Craig McMahon all gave up their time and their skills to help out a mate.

As well, as few local businesses chipped in with supplies and donated materials including Howard and Sons, Warwick Industrial Supplies, Warwick's Gardens Galore and Warwick Sand and Gravel Supplies.

Mr Gillott said Mr Farrell was originally expected home a few weeks ago.

"So we got together over a weekend in January and knocked over most of the work," he said.

"But Scott had his own surprise planned and snuck back to Warwick two weeks ago with his parents to be there for his daughter Charlotte's first day of kindy.

"So he saw some of the work we'd done then but was instructed not to ask any questions and to act surprised."

Then this evening Mr Farrell returned home for good and 25 close friends and family were waiting.

"He didn't suspect a thing," Mr Gillott said.

"We all parked around the corner and he was surprised when he came in.

"He's a great bloke and he's been through a really rough patch so it was nothing for us to do this for him and his family."

Mr Farrell, who is getting around in a wheelchair said he was chuffed with the efforts of his mates.

"Really grateful, I can't thank them enough," he said.

"I had a few plans out here in the backyard but they've done a much better job than I ever would have."

All up the generous band of mates put a railing around the patio, added an outdoor light, built some bench seats, landscaped the gardens, hung the clothes dryer, fixed the shower screen, got the lawnmower going again and planted some new plants among other things.

Partner Sam had the pool table stripped and refelted, bought a TV and some furniture for the now superbly finished outdoor area and organised her brother-in-law Peter Vogt to build a new chook-pen.

Miss Leach said she organised the welcome home barbecue as a way of saying thanks to everyone for their kindness and generosity.

As for Mr Farrell, the road to recovery is getting shorter but it's not over yet.

"My left leg is almost back to 100% but there's still a few major issues with the right," he said.

"A lot of physio and recovery is ahead of me.

"I have a lot of severe pain down my right side and need to lie down every hour or so.

"For now I'm going to be the stay-at-home dad and work on getting better.

"Thanks to everyone for all the support and for this great surprise."



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