Maccas crew, community gets behind paralysed teen
THE road to recovery will likely be a long one for 17-year-old Ethan Kirkbride, who was paralysed from the neck down after a serious car accident.
He has been in intensive care at Princess Alexandra hospital for almost two weeks with mother Joanne is by his side, and the people of Roma have backed him too.
A GoFundMe page was set up overnight to help the family, and it received an immediate response from the community.
Marc Benson, Ethan's boss at McDonald's Roma started the campaign, and said the reaction had been phenomenal.
"I launched it at around 1.30 this morning and in 9 hours it had raised over $9,000 and been shared more than four hundred times."
The tight-knit crew at Maccas were devastated by the accident, but Mr Benson said it was important to rally behind one of their own.
"He's a great young guy who's been with us since he was 14, and this is the least we can do for Ethan and his family.
"It's going to be a long road and they will need all the support we can give when they come home.
"I know Joanne has already been so touched and is appreciative of the donations," he said.
"Right now I want to encourage the community to get behind this - keep pushing and keep sharing," he said.
Ethan and two others were injured when the car he was driving rolled on Mt Saltbush Rd in Roma, and he was airlifted to Brisbane in a critical condition.
His neck was broken in two places, which has rendered him paralysed and in need of a wheelchair.
The GoFundMe Page for Ethan can be found here.