Ricky Stuart visits TJ Campagna in hospital on Christmas Day

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart pays Thomas 'TJ' Campagna a visit in hospital on Christmas Day. Photo: Facebook
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart pays Thomas 'TJ' Campagna a visit in hospital on Christmas Day. Photo: Facebook

Canberra Raiders' coach Ricky Stuart took some time out from his own Christmas morning to visit the 13-year-old boy injured in last week’s Kings Highway crash.

Stuart spent about 20 minutes talking to Thomas "TJ" Campagna at the Canberra Hospital, bringing him a present and the offer to sit in the coach's box at a Raiders game next season.

TJ's mother, Alanna Davis, said the pair talked about football, injuries and recovery and said the generous offer made TJ's day.

"Ricky talked to TJ about his recovery, how this shouldn't affect his footy career at this young age, about injuries Ricky has had, what clubs TJ plays for in union and league, the different codes, club loyalty and upcoming Raiders season," Ms Davis said.

"It was beautiful that Ricky made time to visit on Christmas morning."

Ms Davis said TJ's recovery was progressing.

"He's had all the tubes and drains removed now," she said.

"He is increasing his amount of physio, including increased assisted walking. He is obviously still in pain due to the sutures, broken ribs, seatbelt bruising and whiplash, but he's getting there."

Ms Davis spent Christmas Eve at the hospital and the pair opened some presents first thing on Christmas morning. He also had visits from his extended family during the day. She was very grateful for the support the family had been receiving.

"I'm reading him every single message and showing him every single photo posted to social media. It is tiring and we take breaks, but it's his favourite thing," she said.

"He loves hearing from everyone, those he knows and those he doesn't. He is amazed at the number of people he doesn't know who are supporting him."

She said she would like to thank the emergency services and staff at Canberra Hospital for their skills, expertise, compassion and dedication.

"We are so blessed with the emergency system we have here in Canberra and surrounds."

She also wanted to thank the Canberra Grammar School rugby community, and the local rugby league and rugby union communities for their endless support.

"I wish they could see the difference they are making, but they'll just have to take my word for it! I'd also like to express my gratitude to the broader Canberra community for their support and those sending love from all over the world. No amount of thanks will ever be enough."

TJ was travelling with his mother and a family friend, Christina Gailey, when a motorist, who police say was under the influence of ice, allegedly drove onto the wrong side of the road.

Ms Davis said the pair hadn't seen each other since the accident and she hoped they would be able to soon.

"We are hoping TJ will be taken up to see Christina," she said.

"They haven't seen each other, so even if to hold hands for a moment will be incredibly beneficial to both their healing. It's a surprise the nursing staff are trying to organise."

A Facebook page has been set up where you can follow TJ's recovery and send messages of support.

This story Surprise visit from Raiders' coach buoys TJ first appeared on The Queanbeyan Age.