Scott and Liz Jones with their youngest child, Stella.
Scott and Liz Jones with their youngest child, Stella.

'My focus is him waking up': Wife speaks after gas explosion

A "SELFLESS person" who is also a "bloody stubborn bloke", hard worker and loving dad.

That's how Liz Jones described her husband Scott, who suffered severe injuries after a gas explosion at the Lismore Turf Club last Thursday morning.

Mrs Jones has spoken out to thank their family, friends, the community and emergency services for the "amazing" support since Scott's horrific accident.

The 35-year-old suffered serious burns to 45% of his body, and the worst affected areas were his hands and legs.

While he has some burns on his face and torso, those are not as serious.

But the father-of-three could face some blindness - doctors have told the family there were some burns to his eyes - however the full extent of the damage won't be known until Mr Jones wakes up and talks.

That's the moment his wife is waiting for.

"All of my focus is on him waking up and me being able to talk to him," she said.

"He's stable.

"He's wrapped from head to toe in compression bandages, because what happens with burns is a lot of swelling."

Scott and Liz Jones with their children George, Sammie and Stella.
Scott and Liz Jones with their children George, Sammie and Stella.

Mrs Jones, a midwife at Lismore Base Hospital, said her husband had been put into an induced coma.

She said he would stay that way for one to two weeks, and the goal is to lower his sedation levels so he "pops in and out" of the coma and his pain levels can be monitored.

He had more surgery yesterday to do skin grafts on his arms and hands, and another lot of skin grafting will be done in four weeks' time.

"Scott is being looked after by the head specialist, Dr Jason Brown, so we feel pretty bloody good about that," Mrs Jones said.

"Obviously for a while he will stay in the ICU, so he's still in the danger zone.

"But there is a lot to be thankful for."

The couple's three children - George, 9, Sammie, 7, and Stella, 3 - have gone back to school this week at St Carthage's Primary School in Lismore.

Mrs Jones said they understood "really well" what was happening with their dad, "because I haven't held anything back from them".

"We have had so much support, it's just been amazing," she said.

"All of Scott's family is here; they have flown from all over Australia to be here with us. Scott is the baby of five children, so they're all here, and his mum and dad.

"People are offering to mow our lawn and collect our mail ... Racing NSW has called me and offered financial support, they've started the WorkCover process. They've been incredible.

"Scott has done a great job at the turf club (as secretary manager) and they are really proud of that."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Jones family through this difficult time.

So far it has raised more than $18,000 and the financial help has been greatly appreciated.

"The money will help to supplement my income, so every contribution means that's a little bit longer that I can stay home from work and be with Scott," Mrs Jones said.

She described her husband as a "selfless person" and "bloody stubborn bloke".

"I know when he wakes up the first thing he will say is, 'I am glad it was me and not you or one of the kids'," she said.

"He will fight really hard (during his recovery)."

For at least the next six weeks Mr Jones will stay in the burns unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

It is the start of a long road for the family.

"Yes, it is really scary seeing Scott laying there with a tube down his throat, but I am feeling really positive at the moment," Mrs Jones said.

"We have a really close group of mates who have been doing everything they can to help - they're cooking dinner, they're helping bathe the children, they're reading books to them.

"We just have the best friends in the world."

There are still a lot of unanswered questions and Mr Jones will need rehabilitation for at least 18 months to two years.

But the family has a lot of ongoing support from the Northern Rivers community.

"I can't thank everyone enough," Mrs Jones said, and made special mention of the firefighters, paramedics and those who were first at the scene of the explosion.

To donate to the Jones family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/jw64z-jones-family-support

The campaign has raised almost $30,000 since it was set up last week.

But if you would prefer to donate direct to the Jones family, a fundraising account has been set up with the St George Bank.

Donations can be made straight into the account at the Lismore branch. The account name is "Elizabeth Jones".


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