Teach a boy to fish ... and he couldn?t be happier
By JULIA ILES
FOR two years nine-year-old Grafton boy Aaron Knox endured a rare illness which almost claimed his life, but now he is back doing what he loves best ? fishing with his dad.
Aaron battled asthmatic micro-plasma pneumonia, which caused a virus in his red blood cells and severely affected his lungs.
In early 2004 he spent two weeks in Grafton Base Hospital before being flown to Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital, where he spent another two weeks, with the first two days spent in paediatric intensive care.
"It was very frightening, especially when he had respiratory failure, they were pumping as much oxygen as they could into him. I froze ... I just went numb and I thought we were going to lose him," Aaron's mother, Karen Knox, said.
"He battled with taking all of the drugs, but not once did he complain. I guess he couldn't do much more, it was a struggle for him to even walk from his bed to the nearby toilet."
So bad were Aaron's airways that he was diagnosed with borderline Cystic Fibrosis.
In May 2005, after returning home, Aaron signed up with the Ulmarra Fishing Club, and his father Rodney Knox and uncle Eric Knox introduced him to the world of fishing.
In October 2005 the club awarded Aaron with the Junior Championship and Sub-Junior Championship.
"What a proud young man he was and his trophies have pride of place on his bedroom shelf," Mrs Knox said.
"He loves fishing dearly and I think the salt air is good for his lungs."
Aaron has caught plenty of bream, trevally and tarwhine.
"In December 2005 he also caught his first Jewfish weighing 4.895 kilograms at Station Creek; it wasn't overly big but he out-fished his uncle and father," Mrs Knox said.
"He has grown over five centimetres in the last six months and we are hoping he will come out of it as he grows stronger, but it is very dangerous for him to be exposed to things like cigarette smoke."