On Boxing Day morning 2016, 76-year-old Brian Faust was gainfully employed, surrounded by family, and keenly watching the progress of his partially-built home.
That afternoon, Mr Faust was a broken man in every sense of the word.
At about 3.20pm, a car reversed over Mr Faust at the Salamander Bay Centre, trapping him underneath.
According to NSW Police, the driver was a 37-year-old man and methamphetamine or ‘Ice’ was allegedly found in the vehicle.
Son-in-law Darren Ogilvie said Brian was “lucky to be alive”.
He sustained multiple injuries including 14 breaks to his ribs, a fractured shoulder blade and collarbone, lacerated tendons and substantial burns.
The emotional scars include flashbacks, periods of depression and weight loss.
Mr Faust’s family asked News Of The Area to deliver two important messages to the local community.
The first was a message of thanks to Salamander Bay Centre security staff, Centre Management, bystanders who assisted with car jacks, emergency services, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Port Stephens Local Area Command officers, John Hunter Hospital ICU staff and Hunter Valley Private Hospital staff.
Darren Ogilvie said his father-in-law was “surprised that he is that important”.
The second message was a humble call for assistance in the mission to ‘Bring Brian Home’.
Brian’s cottage is under construction and requires “hands on deck” and expertise to complete it.
“What we need is a little bit of help to get the building to a stage where he can come home after his rehabilitation,” Darren Ogilvie said.
“That’s all he wants. He doesn’t want to go to a hospice or alternative accommodation.”
Simone and Anthony Bramble are members of the ‘Bring Brian Home’ coordination team.
“He is separated from his family and Rex [Brian’s adored dog], and all he wants to do is get home,” Mrs Bramble said.
“His cottage is not finished, nor is it suitable to accommodate his current injuries,” she said.
“This is the local community’s opportunity to assist; donate some spare change or volunteer your time or expertise to help finish the cottage.”
“He would be so appreciative of people’s help,” Darren Ogilvie added.
“It will restore his belief in humanity.”
Donations can be made at any Newcastle Permanent via: BringBRIANHome, BSB: 650 000, Account: 525 565 901.
The contact for tradespeople, businesses or community members wanting to assist is firstname.lastname@example.org and cards or messages can be sent to Brian C/- PO Box 29 ANNA BAY 2316 or post via bringbrianhome2316 on Facebook.
By Jo FINN