A country GP has described how he saved a 12-year-old Victorian boy by using a household drill to bore a hole in the child's skull.
Following directions over the phone from a Melbourne neurosurgeon, Dr Rob Carson made a deep incision in the boy's head and removed a deadly blood clot.
Nicholas Rossi, 12, was not wearing a helmet when he fell off his bike late on Friday while riding outside a friend's house in Maryborough, 170 kilometres north-west of Melbourne.
The boy hit his head on the pavement and was knocked out momentarily, but then stood up and said he was fine.
But after he complained of a headache, his mother Karen, a trained nurse, took him to the district hospital, where he experienced spasms and periods of unconsciousness.
The local GP, Dr Carson, recognised the symptoms of bleeding on the brain and realised he had only minutes to drill a hole to relieve the pressure on the boy's brain.
He obtained a drill from a maintenance room since the hospital was not equipped with neurological drills.
Over the telephone, Melbourne neurosurgeon David Wallace walked him through the procedure.
Mr Rossi told Radio 3AW today how Dr Carson told him and wife the risky procedure was necessary to save their son.
''They stabilised Nicholas to start off with (and) they put him under anaesthetic and then Dr Carson came out and he said that he had 'one shot at this' and said what he wants to do is to drill into Nicholas' head to relieve pressure on the brain,'' Mr Rossi said.
Dr Carson drilled a hole just below the bruise mark, above Nicholas' ear, until a blood clot came out. He used forceps to increase the hole to about a centimetre in diameter, then inserted a drainage tube to keep the blood flowing out of the boy's skull.
Mr Rossi spoke with Dr Wallace, the neurosurgeon who guided Dr Carson through the operation.
''He said Dr Carson picked the right spot and that astounded him. He said to have actually picked the right spot to drill and to use the Black and Decker (as he called it), it's just astounding - it took a lot of guts.''
Nicholas was airlifted to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital an hour later and was released on Tuesday - his 13th birthday.
The country doctor who helped save the life of a 12-year-old boy, Dr Carson said the thought of a young child dying in front of him was more scary than performing the actual operation.
''This little boy was dying in front of me and that was actually more scary then anything I did. The thought of that little kid, a 12-year-old actually dying from a pretty simple accident seemed terribly unfair,'' Dr Carson said on Radio 3AW.
''The actual procedure itself was not as terrifying as the possible outcome if I didn't do it.'' Dr Carson said his phone conversation with Dr Wallace had given him the confidence to do the risky procedure.
''I just said this is what I'm going to do and he thought that was a good idea to do it and he just described the technique a little more for me and once I was doing it, I was prepared for the next step,'' Dr Carson said.
Dr Carson said the successful operation was a memorable moment in his 30-years as a doctor.
''I suppose you would have to put it up with one of the highlights of your career, having had a career in country hospitals,'' Dr Carson said.