The efforts of a WA police officer to ensure an 11-year-old boy received life-saving medical treatment has been revealed, in a case described by the state’s top judge as “extraordinary.”
- The 11-year-old boy was prevented from receiving crucial treatment
- The boy is now receiving treatment thanks to WA police officer Tom Gryta
- It is not the first time Senior Constable Gryta has been praised for his heroism
The case ended up in the Supreme Court last week because the boy was prevented, for undisclosed reasons, from receiving the treatment, despite it being supported by his mother.
Staff from the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) wanted the court to urgently intervene and order the boy have the treatment, but the matter was resolved before that needed to happen.
The court heard that was largely because of the actions of Pilbara-based police officer, Senior Constable Tom Gryta, who, on his wife’s birthday, spent the whole day fishing with the 11-year-old.
The next day, Senior Constable Gryta took the boy to hospital, where he was provided with an Xbox so he could play a video game he was obsessed with.
The boy was also taken to the Maylands Police Academy in Perth to see the horses.
Intervention no longer needed
In a judgement today, Chief Justice Peter Quinlan described the case as “extraordinary”, saying “there could hardly be a legal proceeding more important than one whose sole purpose is to serve the life of a child …”
He revealed it was now not necessary for the court to intervene because the boy was now undergoing treatment.
The Chief Justice praised the efforts of all involved, including “the dedicated staff” from PCH, the lawyers involved from Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service, particularly two women who appeared in court at short notice to represent the boy’s interests.
The Chief Justice also noted the involvement of Senior Constable Gryta whom he said, along with many others had “achieved the favourable outcome.”
It was not the first time Senior Constable Gryta was praised for his work.
Life-saving actions recognised
In March last year, he and a colleague saved an eight-year-old boy from a burning house in South Hedland.
Senior Constable Gryta was also one of the officers who attended a siege in Carlisle in 2014, in which a woman was being held hostage by a knife-wielding man, who was believed to be under the influence of ice.
Senior Constable Gryta was the first on the scene and ended up opening fire on the man, who was killed.
The state coroner Ros Fogliani noted Senior Constable Gryta’s attempts to negotiate with the man.
She said while he was unable to achieve his aim of getting the man to drop the knife and release his hostage, it did not diminish the importance of his efforts.