Kirralee Saunders  and her son Carter Johnson. Carter recently celebrated his 7th birtdhay and had a surprise visit from the bin-man who presented him with his own JJRichards garbage truck. April 2019
Kirralee Saunders and her son Carter Johnson. Carter recently celebrated his 7th birtdhay and had a surprise visit from the bin-man who presented him with his own JJRichards garbage truck. April 2019 Bev Lacey

VIDEO: Rubbish truck drivers make boy's dream come true

TRUCKS and cars are a normal fascination of young boys, but for seven-year-old Carter Johnson, it's all about the rubbish truck drivers.

On an average Friday morning, his mother Kirralee Saunders said it was not unusual to see him waiting patiently by the curbside to get a glimpse of his heroes.

The drivers usually wave as they pass, but last Friday the JJ Richards rubbish truck stopped to help Carter celebrate an incredible milestone - his seventh birthday.

At 14-weeks old, Carter was found unresponsive and not breathing at the family home.

Ms Saunders said his miraculous survival made every birthday "an emotional time".

JJ Richards truck driver Ngamata-o-apii Tini presents Carter with a toy garbage bins.
JJ Richards truck driver Ngamata-o-apii Tini presents Carter with a toy garbage bins.

"I remember I had put him down for a nap, but I felt that something wasn't right," Ms Saunders said of that day.

"When I checked on him, he was face down in the bed - at that moment my whole life changed."

Ms Saunders worked to resuscitate her son before they transported him to Brisbane for treatment.

Doctors diagnosed him with a hypoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy and cortical vision impairment.

Ms Saunders said they had given him a slim chance of survival.

Friday was a far cry from that scene. Carter ran towards the drivers and hugged them tightly.

"He has loved them ever since he was two years old, so for him to finally meet them, it was a beautiful moment," Ms Saunders said.

"When the drivers got out of the truck, he didn't know what to do - he was the happiest boy on earth.

"I was crying, they were crying, he kept telling them they were his heroes."

The drivers and JJ Richards management team came baring gifts, giving Carter a toy rubbish truck.

"Sometimes you feel forgotten as a special needs parent, you can lose sight of the good things," Ms Saunders said.

"But JJ Richards has shown us that people still care -they have no idea the impact they have had on my family. I've always appreciated them, but they are now my heroes too."

JJ Richards Toowoomba operations manager Mark Brown said the meeting had been "moving".

"Carter's story rang true to so many on the team that we had to go visit," he said.

"His enthusiasm and the parent's relief was palpable.

"We wish Carter all the best for his seventh year."



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