Shark attack victim Brett Connellan this week walked into the DP Boardroom in Thirroul!
Seven weeks after he was horrifyingly attacked by a Great White shark at Bombo beach, Brett is out of hospital and getting around without the aid of crutches.
But it’s not over yet for the Kiama surfer, and DP employee. In fact, there’s still a long, hard road ahead.
Just hours after the attack, muscle was taken from Brett’s latissimus dorsi (in his back) and reattached to his thigh. For that to effectively take hold, he has to keep his knee straight for several months, using a special brace to prevent movement 24 hours a day. This will be replaced by another brace as treatment progresses.
Friend Geoff Latimer says all future progress depends on the success of the transplant. “There is no timeframe for his rehabilitation,” says Jeff. “It all depends on how the muscle heals and wether or not it successfully re-attaches.”
Geoff says assuming all goes well, come summer, Brett will be ready to begin his rehab regime.
“Everything costs money and we want Brett to have as much opportunity as possible to fully recuperate. That’s why we’ve organised the fundraising night. To give him every chance at getting back on his surfboard.”
After a month in hospital, the accumulated medical expenses are already substantial, and the real rehab hasn’t even begun. So Geoff and the Jones Beach Boardriders are holding an event at The Shellharbour Club on Saturday June 25. There will be amazing raffles, auctions and loads of local artists and musicians donating time and effort to raise as much as possible to help Brett move forward.
Another fantastic supporter is Dylan Perese of DP Surfboards, where Brett worked as manager before the attack.
“It was great to see him hobble in to the store,” says Dylan. “He’s been doing a bit of work for me behind the scenes, but I didn’t expect to see him covering ground!
“Brett seems to be in good spirits. Certainly on the outside. He’s handling it a lot better than I would. We are all confident that with rehab, Brett will be able to walk and surf again.”
To help Brett and his family pay for the treatment he’s going to need, Dylan is doing what he can to help with the fundraising effort.
“We have three fantastic artworks donated by local artists and we are ‘auctioning’ them off on our website, so you don’t have to go to the event to bid.
“Paul Ryan has donated a painting and we have two massive prints from Thirroul’s Ray Collins and Wollongong’s Warren Keelan. All you have to do is place your bid on the website. If you’re not comfortable with that you can do it in the store.”
DP Surfboards is also offering a special Brett Conellan Supporters Surfboard! For an extra $50 you can have Brett’s ‘Simpson-style’ image on your DP board, and every cent of that goes straight into Brett’s trust fund.
“It’s been refreshing to see so many good people come together in this time of need,” says Dylan. ” Not only had Brett had messages and chats with Kelly Slater and Chris Hemsworth to cheer him up, but also, all sorts of businesses and creative people have donated auction items and services to help raise money. The event is going to be a fantastic night that hopefully raises enough to help Brett move forward with his recovery. “
So to keep it simple, here are the ways you can help Brett Connellan recover:-
Brett Connellan Trust
You can keep up to date with Brett and his recovery at www.surfersforbretto.com
Photos thanks to Facebook