The Gutless Wonder


It’s funny how something which would have been so frustrating and icky a few days ago is all of a sudden viewed as incredibly lucky by members of this family.

Take the text message I received from my brother this morning. He was checking out their new house before handover when he saw ‘a sign’.

Good news! the message read. Bird flew into the new house and shit in the laundry!


If you feel that doesn’t make sense you’ve not read my last post. A lot of people have quite wonderfully been lighting candles for Tracey while our family has been burning ours at both ends. Not sure I’d trust myself with a naked flame at the moment so fortunately Grandma put us onto avian droppings as an alternative.

And bugger me if it doesn’t seem to be working…

The same surgeon who earlier in the week had to deliver us the news that given what he was seeing in her stomach he didn’t think Tracey was going to make it called us in for another meeting today.

Only this time the conversation was much more palatable.

“Her bowel has less inflammation. Much less inflammation,” he told us.

And in a world where language is nuanced, I noticed regarding the leaks into her stomach which they’re draining he referenced they were managing them rather than something akin to reacting to them.

All in all he was impressing us a lot.

Not sure I managed to do the same.

“Do you accept hugs?” I asked him when he was done with delivering all this wonderful news. He didn’t look keen, so I moved on to another question. “So you’d say you’re cautiously optimistic?”

We all agreed on that term.

Bullshit. I’m planning her homecoming.

So finally, with hardly any small bowel left, with no spleen and a little less liver, Tracey has stopped getting worse and started getting a little better.

Actually, I think she’s going to be thrilled at how thin she is around the waist when she gets out. I sense some retail therapy amidst whatever medical meetings they sign us up for. Her new tiny waist will probably handle a corset no problem.

Still, all that’s down the track. I suspect we’ve still got a few spins around the dance floor doing the ICU Cha Cha before Tracey’s back in my bed where she belongs.

Speaking of which, the whole extended family is obviously super thrilled at this turn of luck for Tracey.

I say luck, but it’s all down to the effort of the staff at the Royal Brisbane. They are awesome. Not just because they’re saving my wife but because of the way they work together as a team on every patient who comes through their doors to ensure the best outcome possible.

I also say my family were thrilled with the news of Tracey’s improvement, although not as much as me.

“You must be so excited with this news,” my brother’s MIL said hugging me today.

“I am excited,” I admitted, eyes twinkling cheekily. “Because you know what this means? There’s a chance I’m going to have sex again!”

So it seems my brother was right about his lucky bird poo.

And things got even better!

When we left the hospital and arrived at the car today for the long drive home to Gympie there was a gift on the door.


And sure enough, at 8.04pm tonight I received a call from the hospital.

“Tracey has indicated she’d like to hear your voice,” the nurse told me.

“Sorry? What?” I think I mumbled, sure I’d misheard. I might have only said it in my head though.

“She’s awake. And she wants you to talk to her.”

“I can be there in two and a half hours!” I exclaimed.

“No, no,” the nurse said. “You don’t have to come down tonight. You need to sleep and look after yourself. She’s woken up frightened and disorientated and I asked her if she’d like me to get you on the phone and she nodded. I’ll put it down to her ear and you can say something. Ready?”

Are you kidding me? I’ve been ready for this moment for three weeks!

I can’t really find the words to describe how wonderful it was to say ‘I love you’ and ‘you are my world’ and ‘I can’t believe you’d wake up the moment I leave’ and actually know I’ve been heard.

After I got off the phone and did my little jig and settled down (it took a little while) I confess the thing which was going through my head was bird droppings: damn that’s some powerful shit.

~ ~ ~

Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.


  • Bloody good news, when you got to the part about the phone call l had goosebumps all over me, praise god that is just so wonderful, l bet you are all going to be up early to go see Tracey.

    I will continue to pray for you all.

    All the best to you & your family, how exciting is it that this has happened. great news.

  • I am keeping you all in my prayers, and reading this just now praising God for Tracey’s healing and the great team that is facilitating that!

  • Hi Bruce, this just warmed my heart! I’ve been checking in a few times a day for updates & thinking of you all often. As a mum of 5 gorgeous kiddies, I can’t imagine the roller coaster ride you have been on in the last few weeks! I’m am absolutely thrilled you got to speak to Tracey & also that she is doing better. Thinking of you all, Nicole

  • Reading that you got to talk to Tracey bought tears to my eyes! Must have been so great to have heard her voice! Been thinking of you, Tracey and your family everyday since I discovered your blog a few days ago! X

  • Praise God !! I’m so thankful I’ve been praying that Jesus would turn this around and heal Tracey!! On this rock we stand!!

  • Oh God I am sooòoooooooo happybfor you. I dont know you, but I have orayed for the kids and you ever eince I chanced upon your fb oage about 3 days ago. I have been doing a lot praying lately for 2 more families whom I do not know at all, and I am sooooooo hapoy that God is listening.

    I hope you get to have back ho e again ASAP. Prayers, prayers and more prayers

  • Omg!!! In tears so happy for all of you!! I had a bird shit on me the day before yesterday when I was wishing a speedy recovery for Tracey! It’s magic shit!

  • Cannot tell u how happy I am to hear this news
    guys. I have no doubt hearing the love in her families voices has played a huge part in Traceys improvement …. and… the amazing power of so many praying.
    My heart smiles picturing u all as u gaze into each others faces again.
    Hug to u all mate.

  • Oh my goodness! That is awesome! I know you’ve still got a LONG way to go but to actually have her hear your voice… Just awesome!!!

  • Wow that is such great news Bruce! So hoping and praying all is uphill from here xxx Just have to tell you I really get the birdshit thing…when I was 8 months pregnant with twin boys we were at the zoo watching the falcons fly over to their keepers. One of them left a gift on my boat of a stomach and suddenly this chinese woman came from nowhere, so excited shouting ‘one placenta? Two placenta?’. She kept pointing at my belly telling me how lucky i was and that i would have a good labour. She was right…natural birth at 38 weeks to two 6 pound boys…two placenta 🙂 now have two healthy 16yos. There is something about bird poo. Bless you and yours xxx

  • Great news! Time to run around the bird aviary and scare them all sh!+l3$$. Hope you can manage to get your little ones to see her over the weekend. The healing power of children to a mother is amazing. I had a white light experience during childbirth, and can remember thinking, “if this is what it’s like to die, I’m not afraid…but I’m having a baby, it’s not my time” Tracey will not give up on them or you if she has a choice.
    Look forward to less cha cha and more onward christrian soldiers MARCHING.

  • I am just so excited & full of joy that l had to come back & tell you that, it is amazing what Jesus has done for you all, praise God that this has happened, you will have a very full in box in the morning l reckon, l am full of joy for you, praise God.

  • Oh Lord this is awesome news! So many of us have been praying for you all. Tell ya what is more powerful than bird scheit and that is the power of love and prayer – Bless you guys <3

  • Oh Lord this is awesome news! So many of us have been praying for you all. Tell ya what is more powerful than bird scheit and that is the power of love and prayer – Bless you guys <3

  • Thank God and thank you staff at Royal Brisbane and thank you Bruce for giving all of us the chance to sleep……I, for one, was worried that we didn’t hear from you yesterday.

    Waving to you Tracey 🙂

  • OMGOODNESS, Omgoodness this is the best best news ever I’m so relieved to read this. Tracey my friend so many people are going to be over the moon to find out you are awake…welcome back lovely….mmmwwwwaaaahhhhh xx

  • Wow Bruce u must be on cloud 9 at least babysitting for Paul and SueVella tonight and we all said wonder how Tracey is tonight. At work but checked FB on my break. Best news we will keep up the prayers and special thoughts.

  • I just woke up to go for a pee so thought I’d check in to see if you had posted. And I am so happy I did. That is such fantastic news. Woohoo! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I wonder how many photos of bird shit you are going to be sent now?

  • Bruce, I have tears of joy in my eyes from reading about your phone call with Tracey. I’m so happy for all of you! Bird poop really is some powerful shit! And Tracey is one hell of a woman!

  • I couldn’t read and not post today. I have big fat tears of happiness rolling down my face for. This is the best news I’ve heard all week. Go Tracey!!!!!

  • That’s wonderful. I hope your kids also get to talk to her soon and tell her how much they love her. Just so happy for you and your family, and for hers.

  • I have tears each time I read your updates, but today they are tears of happiness. So so glad to hear your news this morning. Positivity is the key 🙂

  • Finally
    So awesome to wake on a saturday morning and hear that great news.

    I think the whole of gympie will stop holding their breth now.

    You trule are in peoples thoughts, im a local delivery driver and every where iv been iv over herd people talking about your family and what they want to do for you.
    There im sure will be a masive home coming when that lady of yours arrives back home here in gympie.

    • That’s a great description Lisa, it’s felt like the whole town is hanging on the next post- impatiently waiting but dreading it at the same time. I’ve officially decided to take the weekend off from any housework in celebration! Thanks Tracey!
      Got a bit of re-evaluating to do too; had started praying lately and no one up there has heard from me for a good long while… Now we have a result.. Have to ponder that!

      Bruce when Tracey’s home and better I think we need a big town party!?! What say you? ?

  • Tears of joy, tears of joy – and here’s to more bird poo and phonecalls where your gorgeous wife can hear your voice. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sure Tracey will love your retail therapy.

  • Prayer: damn that’s some powerful shit. So happy for you all, especially for your children that Tracey is improving and awake. Gotta give credit where credit is due…may God continue to bless and heal her and provide the medical means to get her home to you soon x

  • Yeah baby! Birdshit FTW! Tears of joy right here, just six kilometres away. The Royal are an amazing hospital – I know because they’ve saved my life too and while ICU may suck, it’s the best place to be right now XO

  • The only reason that it is considered lucky to be pooped on by a pigeon is you were not pooped on by an elephant.

    You have many people praying for you and your family. Be blessed in the knowledge that the Almighty God has your back and is working in Tracey’s body as He guiding the thoughts, words and actions of an excellent medical team.

  • tears, lots of tears of happiness here.
    Miracles do happen, and prayers are answered. What awesome news to wake up to. Thank you!

  • Bruce that is GREAT news!

    I am relieved, obviously nowhere to the extent you & the kids will be that’s for sure.

    Give Tracey the Gardiner Family love from all of us! I have been very worried about her (considering how long we have all known each other). 🙂


  • Thank God for such positive news! So excited and happy that your gorgeous wife is so strong and such a fighter. You are as amazing as each other.
    Can’t wait for the next update 🙂

  • Every time I see magpies now instead of running in fear I think of Tracey and when I see bird poop I get excited! It’s the little things right? Sending all my love and positivity to Tracey x

  • Praise the Lord – The Maker of all birds everywhere!!!! Bird poop is wonderful stuff!!!! Wonderful news!!! Keep on keeping on all you wonderful people Love and prayers from FNQ!!!

  • I have had a candle blazing each night for your Tracey, I was so touched by your story. Best wishes to you all, and that Tracey gets another chance to grow old with you and your beautiful family.

  • Over the moon to hear some good news for you guys! I will certainly look at bird shit in a whole different light from now on ?

  • Bruce, I am part of the extended BOQ family. Gympie is such a long drive home. If you ever need to stop off in Brisbane, there is a room with a bed in my house that you are welcome to use.

  • Oh Bruce this is just the best news! Not getting worse & being stable is great but improving is just pure awesomeness. So happy for you & your kidlets & family & friends. Here’s to more steady improvement over the coming days, weeks & months. Sending much love to you all xxx

  • Tears of joy here too, I have been worrying & checking for updates regularly over the last 48 hours & admit I was fearing the worst but was so relieved to find the opposite was true. You must have been dying to rocket back to the hospital even after the call just to see her eyes open. All the best from Hervey Bay

  • And so I am crying again. But this time with hope and joy. Love and hugs to you all. And keep of fighting Tracey, keep on fighting.

  • Hi Bruce, I am so happy for you and Tracey. Wonderful news. I know I have met Tracey, but can think where. Her face is so familiar. Did she work at the bank? Any way, as an animal trainer, I am telling every bird I see to go poo in your new house. All my best wishes. Kate Butterworth

  • Amazing news!! So happy to read this, tears streamimg down my face – You go Tracey!! Let’s get us more bird poo!! 😀

  • I am so incredibly happy to read this today. I have been thinking of your family and desperately hoping you would have some good news. What an incredibly strong woman Tracey is, a true fighter and what a strong, brave, devoted husband and father you are to keep your family going at a time like this. I don’t even know you but I am so touched. The people at the pool where I am currently reading this and crying happy tears think I am a weirdo and it’s so worth it! ❤️❤️❤️

  • OMG! Birdshit, power of positive prayers and much love from everywhere!! SO happy for you, Tracey, your children and your families!! The best news!!

  • Oh, that’s such wonderful news!!!
    A bird shit on my car yesterday while I was parked no where near a tree. I’m leaving it there!!
    Still lighting a candle for Tracey so she can hurry home 🙂

  • Hey Bruce, I actually just cried a few tears of relief and joy for your family. Your doing an awesome job big fella and your gorgeous wife will be so proud of how you’ve handled this traumatic time.

  • In so happy for you all and wishing you all that she makes a very speedy recovery & walks or is wheeled out the doors of the hospital ?

  • Oh wow! What a wonderful news. I am crying now but this time it is tears of happiness. Thank you for sharing that news. It made my days!

  • Awesome answers to many loving prayers for Tracey and family. …so thrilled for you, nothing nicer than saying those words to your loved one.
    Text messages going of everywhere around gympie. …they all read Tracey is awake. …Happy dance. Welcome back Tracey.
    Will continue to keep you in my prayers and kept my angel burning till you are back home in Gympieland.
    Wendy 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • is is an amazing true life story happening as I type…and I guess its given me the “ok” to look at all my own signs that are delivered in some unique way…bring on more “bird poo” Tracey…..oh and your hubby needs you in more ways than just one…keep fighting sweetheart. ….xxx

  • My candle burns each night for your beloved Tracey. I am truly touched by your story and pray madly you can grow old with her by your side.

  • OMG!!! I don’t know you and Tracey personally but have followed your blog for 3-4years. My heart has been breaking as I read your family going through this difficult time. On reading this post I did start jumping around crazy with a huge grin on my face. Hubby thinks I’ve lost my marbles. So happy that there is now hope.

  • WOO HOO. Tear of joy today. Oh thank heavens. From now on we are not cleaning up any bird shit that we find around the house just until Tracey recovers enough to get out of hospital. Tell Tracey we are still rooting for her (In the American way that is).

  • Hi Bruce & family, great to hear Tracey is showing signs of improvement at last. It certainly has been a tense couple of weeks and that’s just how we’ve felt. Can’t imagine the emotional headspin you’ve been going through. Have you been eating? In dire situations I find I can’t eat. (which is very unusual for me). Maybe better news helps. Please be careful driving to and from the hospital. Don’t want anything to happen to you! Keep up the good work Tracey you amazing girl and may the birds keep pooping!

  • Wow! Extraordinary! Maybe now is the time to start asking questions like can u give Tracey stacks of pain killers and a bit of Valium and let her wake up in the daytime? Then you could make sure here s someone holding her hand all day in the daytime. I don’t understand why they put people in an induced coma when they don’t have a head injury. If she’s at all distresses they should give her Valium, or Lorazepam which I think is a better cal active than Valium as it does not have the muscle relaxant effect or make you woozy. I’m still not sure why if necessary bowel cold be removed completely if need be and Tracey be fed in TNT artificial manner or why a bowel transplant down the track is not considered (given her age and great systems health). I can imagine her getting better enough to come home, and when really well, exploring the Australian bowel transplant process (they have been done in Melboube), at least getting on the register if we have one. Bruce, you’re the best. Thinking of all of you everyday. Love from me in NSW. xxx

  • Me again. Perhaps also ask what techniques they use when they patch her up. They use a special “glue” and a special type of suture for bowel perforations. Maybe the GI surgeons at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne might have some new techniques. Hope the docs in Brisbane are asking internationally for input on Tracey’s case. Again, because she is a young mum of 5 little kids, and because her health in other respects is remarkable. The coldest doc must see she is a life that can be saved. x

    • Anne, they usually leave the tummy open and seal it with a vacuum dressing. That way the swelling/inflammation has somewhere to go, and doesn’t put pressure on the blood vessels and reduce the blood flow (which could be really bad!!), and they can just whip the vacuum dressing off and have another looksie. They even just take it down in the ICU and change it sometimes. It’s quite impressive what they can do.

  • And me again. When they go in every second day to check on the perforations, how on earth do they do that? It’s like she must have a zipper or something! or just a couple of loose stitches. I love doctors and science!!!

  • So happy to hear you have had some good news at last, and that you got to tell her you love her and know that she heard you. Will be hoping for a lot more good news in the days to come xxx

  • Wow, this is the best news I have heard all week!!!

    It made me cry happy tears and I don’t even know you guys, but I have been on tenterhooks for the last couple of weeks following Tracey’s struggle. So glad for you all.

    My daughter in law is an ICU nurse and when she is here at home she parks her car under a big tree on our footpath, as it is the only place left in our small street. Her car is regularly patterned with bird shit, so I bet she takes some of this magic to work with her every day. 😉

  • So happy to hear you have had some good news at last, and that you got to tell her you love her and know that she heard you. Will be hoping for a lot more good news in the days to come xxx

  • OMG Happy Dance! Oh that is so wonderful – such wonderful news. And a slimmer waist! Oh joy and much love Bruce xxx I can’t imagine she will ever before have realised how much you are all cared about xxxx mwah

  • Oh my gosh!!! Tears of joy!!! I’m so so happy for you Bruce! For you, for Tracy, for the children 🙂 what wonderful progress! Your family are still in my prayers! Love and best wishes, the Lanagan-Lawlor Family

  • Bruce you are a brave man to allow all of us into your family’s life; through Tracey’s battle and now recovery.

    Thank you so much as you’ve made me realize how important family and friends are, and to stop taking things for granted.

    I hope more “bird poos” come your way.
    Take care. x

  • Fingers crossed things continue on the up and up.
    Sometimes things can go two steps forward, one step back. But remember, it’s still moving 1 step forward overall. Keep up the love and positive vibes. I’ll send some her way too ??

  • Amazing news. Like many others, we wait for news with hope and prayers.
    By opening a small window into your family life, you have indeed made us feel like you all are one of our own. So we wait and hope that you feel the love through our small comments.

  • Oh wow what brilliant news!!!!! Brought tears of happiness!!! Been following your blog and constantly been worried, I’m so happy Tracy is getting better, and so happy for you and your children, sending love and speedy recovery wishes from England. ???

  • So happy for you, and the phone call part made me cry. Best wishes and hope the lucky bird droppings continue working miracles.

  • We’ve had some birds inside our house this week too shitting all over the couches – they must have heard they were needed! Birds are crapping for you everywhere Tracey so make sure you take all that good mojo to get yourself well and back to your beautiful family!

  • What a wonderful world……make sure you play it on a trip down to get her and bring her home. Loves and hugs to you both and especially your special children.

  • Omg, im in tears. Happy tears. I did the icu cha cha for months. The days they are having a good day , you have a good day and the days they don’t you don’t. It can be so exhausting. Look after yourself.

  • I just had tears!!! This is the most wonderful news, i had the biggest grin when I got to the part when Tracey wanted to hear your voice. Sleep good tonight Bruce, sounds like things are on the up. ??

  • Holy crap! How wonderful. We have been checking for your updates. So many people are sending love and support. Your posts allow us to follow but not intrude on your family. Thank you.

  • Taking the kids in – that was it ????
    I don’t know you guys, but I’ve just shed tears of joy & happiness at this news – just so awesome to see a glmer of hope ??

  • I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and have been thoroughly entertained by you and your family. It was with a heavy heart when I read a couple of weeks ago of Traceys illness and the nightmare you Bruce and yo ur family have been going through. I cried many tears and prayed to the universe and god for Traceys improvement and for health to return and for you to have strength for you family. I still pray and I am so happy to hear a positive outcome at this time. Bless you all , bigs hugs being sent to each and every one of you. Hope its all good news from now on ????

  • Praise to the Lord Jesus. He is AWESOME. “For this we have Jesus” is my new favourite saying. Been praying so much for Tracey and the whole family. Love to you all

  • Oh thank you God. Our prayers have been heard! The happiness just hit us when we read your blog Bruce! We are sooooooo thrilled for you and us!!!! The light is coming back to our home town a little at last. ♡♡♡

  • I’m doing the ‘Go Tracey’ Jig!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STOKED!! Fantastic to hear!! I so hope thing improve quickly & I bet the kids will be overjoyed to receive the news. Thinking of you all!! Much Love Jo XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • fingers crossed xxx Have been following you & your ordeal & could not imagine having to go through such an unknown outcome. Best wishes to you & Fam xx

  • Tracey, you have fought so hard you deserve to be home in the arms of your very loving family.
    Hopefully soon. The candels will keep burning for you and those who need the light. Stay strong.

  • So amazing to see some good news for you guys! Bring that Shit on, literally 🙂
    PS – in opposition to what was written above – Of course you’d be thinking about sex…really….who wouldn’t be itching to express their deepest love with the love of their lives after an experience like this? I’m sure you’ll manage to wait until she’s ready 🙂

  • Hi Bruce this is wonderful news. I live in Western Australia & our bedroom faces east so each night I have been meditating on my stomach area & sending healing vibes east. I also sent a prayer request to my sisters Qld based church. All that energy people have been pushing towards Tracy is obviously having an effect, along with the bird shit. All the best to you & your family. Jane

  • I was nervous about checking your site tonight, worried about the update and saw such great news! So happy for you all and hope this is the first step to Tracey coming home. Sending strength

  • I burst into tears when I read, “She’s awake.” I’m so thrilled for you all! Such a wonderful turn of events. And, Ps, I agree whole heartedly with Suzanne’s comment above. Love, blessings and bird poo a’ plenty!

  • A bird pooped on me today – first time in I would think at least 20 years! I immediately thought of you guys and thought ‘it must be a sign’…I’m expecting fabulous news on your next update!
    Love and best wishes from the South West of WA xxx

  • Really pleased with Traceys’ progress. I had her on my mind and in my prayers as I was walking my survivor’s lap on Gympies Relay for Life on Saturday.

  • So pleased things have turned a corner..every day I eagerly check in for news praying it will be positive…..little steps know but as I’ve said before if there is hope there is everything xx

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