16 June 2021

Teen injured by whale wakes from coma in time to celebrate birthday

| Hannah Sparks
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Damaged boat

Nick and Matt’s damaged boat after the accident in which a whale landed on them off the coast of Narooma. Photo: Supplied: Carmen Bartley.

The 18-year-old man injured by a whale in a freak accident on the NSW South Coast has woken from an eight-day coma a week before his 19th birthday.

Nick Myhill was placed into a coma to help his body recover from serious neck and head injuries after a whale landed on his small fishing boat.

Nick was with his stepfather, Matt Price, off the coast of their hometown of Narooma on Sunday, 6 June, when the whale surfaced from beneath the water.

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The teenager’s family said the pair had “no warning and no time to react”.

Matt was also injured but returned the boat to shore and made a mayday call on the radio.

Nick Myhill

Nick is described as a “top bloke” and “strong” by friends and family. Photo: Supplied: Carmen Bartley.

Matt was treated at Moruya Hospital for cuts and bruises, while Nick was transferred to Canberra Hospital.

On Monday (14 June), Nick surprised his family by waking from the coma. He has been communicating well with his family and medical staff since.

The family said that Nick remembers what happened to him, but they are unsure what his future holds or the extent of any permanent damage.

“However, he is alive, awake and responsive, which is absolutely amazing considering what he has been through,” said the family.

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“We would like to thank the media and the general public for their support and prayers for Nick and our family during this awful time.”

The ‘Keep Nick Afloat’ GoFundMe page, set up by a friend of Nick’s family, Carmen Bartley, has raised $22,150 so far.

“We are still a way off our goal amount; however, the donations to this point will go a long way to helping Nick in his recovery,” said the family.

The family said they would provide further updates on Nick’s condition in the coming weeks.

“For now, we are enjoying having our beautiful boy back and spending as much time with him as we can,” said the family.

Nick’s family are thrilled he will be awake to celebrate his 19th birthday on Sunday, 27 June.

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