'He can see!' Mum's tears as boy fights Taipan bite
AGNES Water parents Giles Campbell and Brittany Cervantes once feared their two-year-old boy Eli would be blind from a near-fatal taipan bite.
But the brave boy has continued to amaze his parents, medics and residents from central Queensland and the world with his miraculous recovery.
In September the Agnes Water toddler was bitten by a taipan three times while picking chicken eggs with his mum Brittany at their Agnes Water property.
In the latest update on Eli's condition parents Brittany and Giles say the two-year-old can see, has taken his first steps and is improving his vocabulary.
"Now for the best news we could hear as parents, Eli passed an eye test for any standard 2 year old, brain-injured or not," Giles and Brittany wrote.
"He was able to demonstrate fixing on an object and following it with both eyes and with each eye individually.
"He was also able to pick up very small objects placed in front of him. We still don't know if he is able to see in colour, that will be something that can be assessed later."
"An amazing moment for Giles and I was while walking along the Brisbane River at South Bank, Eli looked at the water and said "ocean" (Ocean is what he used to call most bodies of water before the incident). We just looked at each other with teary eyes and said 'he can see'."
However it hasn't been without difficult hurdles, with the two-year-old facing a set back of suffering a seizure.
"The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster, seeing Eli sit on his own and stand up, to having an unexpected seizure, to now watching him walk on his own," Giles and Brittany wrote on a GoFundMe page.
"What has surprised us the most is his ability to be able to see and recognize certain objects around him."
The Agnes Water parents say he is slowly progressing back to his "energetic self".
Eli has gained control of his right hand and is speaking and listening.
"Eli took his first unassisted steps 2 weeks ago ... He is currently sitting, standing and walking (a little awkwardly) on his own," they said.
The update, which was arguably the most positive news the family has shared yet since the accident, also outlined the new challenges they will face.
"With the talking and seeing, we are still noticing things being more transient, not necessarily consistent as of yet. That was one of the effects listed for the area of his brain injured, he could have trouble interpreting what he sees or that his ability to recognize things could come and go."
"He has impressed us thus far with how far he has come, completely exceeding our exceptions in a short amount of time."
The parents thanked the support from the Agnes Water/1770 region and beyond.
A GoFundMe page set up by family friend Blake Hyland has now raised more than $70,000.
"We wanted to thank the amazing community of Agnes Water/ 1770 for all they have done for us.To the people around the world that have been touched by Eli's story and have donated to the GO Fund Me account, and to the floods of messages we personally receive from family, friends and strangers just letting us know we are in their thoughts."
"And a big thank you to Blake and his family, who says his efforts were no big deal but to us have been mountainous."