Dockers honour brave kids

Fremantle Docker Josh Simpson and Jony Docker with Thomas Mellor, Jack Hoffman, Stephanie Little, Zane Johnson and Lennard Butler. Picture: Martin Kennealey d402591a
Fremantle Docker Josh Simpson and Jony Docker with Thomas Mellor, Jack Hoffman, Stephanie Little, Zane Johnson and Lennard Butler. Picture: Martin Kennealey d402591a

This courage was recognised on Wednesday as five children from Rockingham and Kwinana were among 12 to receive an A.J. Diamond Club Bravery Award presented annually by the Fremantle Dockers.

It’s the 19th year the awards have been presented in what has become a club tradition for its newest recruits. This week Jack Hannath, Craig Moller, Matt Taberner, Max Duffy, Josh Simpson, Alex Howson and Tanner Smith made the presentations.

Local recipients

Jack Hoffman (9) of Warnbro – Fremantle Hospital

The tee-ball player was hit by a rogue ball at a State event and ended up in hospital for 12 days needing surgery usually only experienced by adult patients, and a blood transfusion.

Jack experienced severe arterial nosebleeds usually in the early hours of the morning and according to his parents Bronwyn and Greg, he simply took them in his stride, surprising them with his calm and bravery.

He has since been given the all-clear by his GP and recently tried out for school hockey. He is keen to get back to tee-ball for the 2013 season in October.

Thomas Mellor (16) of Warnbro – Fremantle Hospital

Just three weeks after he and his family immigrated to WA from the UK, Thomas was admitted to Fremantle and Rockingham hospitals with a perforated appendix, a hole in his duodenum and eventually had part of his colon removed.

He then developed septic shock and spent five days in intensive care, before returning to the general ward for another 50 days. He was unable to eat or drink normally for seven weeks, and his mum Nikki said despite feeling pretty miserable, Thomas didn’t make too much of a fuss.

Nikki said she lost count of how many times she found herself in awe of his ability to get on with it, even with his close friends in the UK and only in contact by phone.

Sporting a sizeable scar, Thomas has since settled into the Aussie lifestyle, taking advantage of the ocean and fishing and is now looking forward to a happy, healthy life.

Zane Johnson (15) of Waikiki – Fremantle Hospital

A serious collision at baseball practice resulted in severe pain and after an urgent trip to Fremantle Hospital’s Emergency Department, Zane was told he had a traumatic laceration to his pancreas and liver, needing to have part of his pancreas surgically removed.

The State baseballer’s parents Glenda and Steven said Zane was amazing throughout the crisis, including the days he could only be fed via a nasogastric tube, resulting in him losing 13kg during his hospital stay.

His mother said despite having some pretty awful treatment, he was always welcoming and polite to the medical staff.

Zane is now training at his local gym four times a week in preparation for the next baseball season.

Lennard Butler (13) of Port Kennedy – Rockingham General Hospital

After developing a painful lump on his leg last November, Lennard was admitted to the paediatric ward and underwent surgery to remove a large abscess on his shinbone.

Nursing staff said Lennard had to have many painful dressings after his surgery but listened closely to the advice of the doctors and nurses and was very careful with his wound dressings to minimise chance of infection.

His mum Kylie said the keen footballer was anxious to play again but waited patiently until given the all clear by doctors, giving his leg the best chance of healing properly. He has returned to playing at Warnbro Community High School.

Orelia’s Stephanie Little (8) was a recipient after her battle with pneumococcal meningitis and mastoiditis last November.