Incredible recovery for Toowoomba trucking identity
OCTOBER 26, 2018 was the day that everything changed for Toowoomba trucker Bryan "Brownie" Brown and his family.
Brownie had been hard at work at his company Westbound Wash and Weed when he became ill and collapsed on his office floor.
His step-daughter Karmen Klease said what happened next was a miracle.
"When I first got the call from my mum, they weren't sure what had happened," she said.
"It wasn't until I saw the CareFlight helicopter I realised things were not great.
"The doctors told us he had ruptured his aorta, in which there was only a one per cent chance of survival."
With Brownie clinging to life, they airlifted him from Toowoomba Hospital to Prince Charles Hospital in less than 30 minutes where he underwent heart surgery.
"He was in a coma in ICU for three weeks after that - it was horrible," she said.
"Doctors told us he had suffered a series of strokes, which led to the aortic rupture. They have depleted his strength.
"He beat every odd. They told us it would paralyse him down one side of his body, but it didn't, he walks and talks - he's perfect in our eyes."
After two months in hospital, Brownie returned home to Toowoomba just before Christmas.
Ms Klease said she was thankful he had made it through, but nothing had prepared them for his new reality.
"It's been devastating to watch such a strong man go through what he has," she said.
"And it's watching the stress of trying to keep a small business afloat while dealing with the medical side of things.
"Recovery is such a long, slow process. There are always physiotherapy and doctor's appointments to attend."
Brownie and his partner Kristine have decided to sell their Glenvale truck wash to help support his full recovery. They listed it last week.
"They've owned it for six years now, and it's always been a brilliant business, but they have to place all of their effort into his recovery," Ms Klease said.
"It's a physical job that requires him to climb in and out of trucks, and he doesn't have the strength any more.
"They are looking for any expressions of interest."
Ms Klease said it would be business as usual at the facility until it sold.
"The truck wash is still operating exactly the same, thanks to an out-of-this-world team," she said.
To donate to Brownie's recovery click here.