Hillcrest survivor speaks publicly for first time
A survivor of the tragic jumping castle tragedy that shook the town of Devonport, Tasmania last week has spoken publicly for the first time since the ordeal.
12-year-old Beau Medcraft broke both of his arms and shattered his wrist when a gust of wind sent the jumping castle he was on 10 metres into the air at end of year celebrations at Hillcrest Primary School. He was one of nine students injured in the accident, while six of his friends tragically died. Two children remain in hospital.
In a video sent to country-rock musician Casey Barnes, Beau expressed his gratitude to the community for their messages of support. Sitting on a couch, with both arms in plaster, his right arm in a sling, and wearing Casey Barnes merch, Beau said, “Thanks for all the support and all the awesome people that commented.
"I watched your video again and thought it was very nice.”
Beau's dad also commented on the post, writing, "From beaus parents Hello to each and everyone thank you, your awesome an your comments are being heard and lifting his spirit as Beau reads through the comments and tells me who says this or says that with the biggest smile 😊 so from both me and his mum I wanted to say thank you for your kind heartfelt messages and words of encouragement to our boy Beau ❤️"
Commenters were quick to send Beau well wishes, with one person writing, “I know it's hard right now but things will get better,” and another commenting, “Love and a million wishes for a speedy recovery Beau. All of Tassie is behind you.”
Barnes grew up in Tasmania and went to college in Devonport, and promised to organise “something special” for Beau and his family in the new year.
Beau’s video comes as the fundraiser for families affected by the tragedy cracks the $1.4 million mark. The GoFundMe page will soon be shut down, as the money is rolled into a new public fund that will be coordinated by Devonport Council and the Tasmanian government, in order to ensure transparency.
At a council meeting on Monday, Devonport councillor Alison Jarmin said, “I know there’s some angst about what is going to happen to these funds and how they are going to be administered.
“We going to be making sure it goes to the right places and goes to the families and doesn’t get lost in governance and bureaucracy.”
Devonport local and creator of the GoFundMe, Zoe Smith, said she was in awe at people’s generosity, telling reporters over the weekend, "It's just beyond anything we could have thought possible.
“People should just be so proud of themselves and the amount that they have donated. It's incredible.”