The Pilbara community has come together to support a charismatic 17-year-old after he was involved in a horrific motorbike accident that has left the family unsure if he’ll walk again.
Jake Bulla, 17, and his friend went for a motorbike ride on June 17 about 5.20pm but about a minute into the ride Jake lost control, hitting railing around a drainage swale, flipping off his bike and landing on his back.
A bystander rushed to the scene and stabilised Jake before paramedics arrived and took him to Karratha Health Campus.
X-rays revealed a severe spinal dislocation and multiple fractures from the T10 to T12 and he was flown to Royal Perth Hospital for surgery.
The Bulla family are well known in the Dampier community, with Jake’s father Stephen Bulla a long-time member of the Dampier Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service and its current captain.
After the accident, the DVFES set up a GoFundMe page to support the family and in 11 days it had raised $21,985.
In a statement to the North West Telegraph, Mr Bulla said Jake and his mate wanted to wanted to let off some steam after a big week of work.
“Deciding to go for a motorbike ride sounded like the perfect plan. They took off at 5.20pm. Within the first 60 seconds Jake lost control of his bike, hitting railing around a drainage swale, which flipped him off his bike and straight on to his back. Right there in a instant he couldn’t feel his legs,” he said.
“His mate who was on another bike stopped to see if he was OK, but that was not the case.”
Mr Bulla said the bystander who helped stabilise Jake had more than 30 years experience with the SES.
He said the family met Jake in the early hours of the morning as he was being prepared for surgery.
“After a lengthy 10-hour surgery they managed to stabilise Jake’s back,” he said.
“Doctors are uncertain on his recovery but very likely might not walk again.”
Mr Bulla said Jake managed to sit unassisted two weeks after the accident and with help get into his chair.
“With time, patience, physiotherapy and determination, we will see what the outcome will be for our charismatic young 17-year-old,” he said.
“He’s constantly pushing himself so that he can make his way back home to Karratha.
“Everyone that knows Jake knows that he is very strong physically and mentally. They all believe if anyone can overcome this and prove the doctors wrong, Jake will.”
Jake said in a Facebook post he was fortunate to have so much support and overall he had been lucky after the crash.
“Everything has gone in my favour and I want to say it has been really hard mentally but thanks to everyone’s help I have changed my mind about it,” he said.
“I am so privileged to have everyone’s support and I am so grateful because I could not imagine how hard it would be doing this alone, having no one there to care.
“You guys are my strength and the reason I am pushing myself so hard, to make you guys happy. I am so, so sorry for all the stress and heartache caused through the community.”