Mates come together for injured police officer
TWO months ago, Senior Constable Len Elliott lost his right leg in an horrific accident while on duty.
The tragedy shocked not only his colleagues but the broader Sunshine Coast community.
Yesterday he got to see just how much support he had when he was guest at a charity soccer match between his police colleagues and a team of ambulance officers.
Making his way around the grounds on a set of crutches, Snr Const Elliott was the centre of attention.
Colleagues, friends and members of the general public hovered around, waiting to shake his hand, have a picture taken with him and ask him how he was going.
"It is surprising when people do come up to you who you've never met before but I must admit there are lots of old faces here that I'd forgotten over the years," he said.
"Myself and my wife have been here about 16 years on the Sunshine Coast so we know a few locals. It's like they've all congregated in one place.
"It's fantastic to see the number of people who have come here not only to support police but other emergency services and I'd say some of them are here to support me as well.
"We can't do our job without the support of the community and it shouldn't have to be a tragedy to bring people together like this."
On Good Friday, the 44-year-old Beerwah policeman was struck by a motorcycle while manning a random breath test station on Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah.
He was taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital with serious injuries, including a number of broken bones.
Despite the surgeons' best efforts, his right leg could not be saved and was amputated above the knee.
As his police and ambulance colleagues ran on to the ground at Stockland Park yesterday, Snr Const Elliott was joined by his family, including his parents, who made the trip from outside of Gympie.
His dad, Len Snr, said he was proud of his son and his recovery.
"Under the circumstances, as a father, I'm very pleased with how things have gone since the accident," he said.
"I spent the first three weeks with him at Royal Brisbane. There were quite a number of police officers in to see him and I can fully understand the close mateship.
"It's really, really touching and we're very proud of our son and the career he has chosen.
"I'm very proud to see so many people here supporting our son and from the Police Commissioner right down have been absolutely fantastic."
After weeks of rehabilitation, Snr Const Elliott is back at his Kings Beach home awaiting the fitting of a prosthetic limb and the next stage of recovery.
"I'm the best I can be; I've got the support of my family, my colleagues, the community. There's not much else I can really ask for, other than maybe a prosthetic leg," he said.
"It's in the mail hopefully."