Kiwi survives horror dragging behind uteSave
By Cherie Howie, Lynley Bilby
Boss Pomare answers to a lot of names - Pom, babe, Dad, coach, son and, of course, Boss.
Now the Kiwi dad of five has one more after he survived being run over by a ute and dragged more than 100 metres near his Melbourne home early on Sunday morning.
The 34-year-old - who has tyre marks across his torso - suffered injuries so serious doctors initially feared he would die.
But he didn't, and family have now given him another name, his fiancee's sister Cindy Tata told the Herald this afternoon.
"We are calling him the man of steel. He's amazing. Not many people can survive being run over by a ute and dragged 100m."
Pomare was walking to his home in the suburb of Pakenham when he was struck about 2am.
Victoria Police said an 18-year-old was driving south on McGregor Rd when he struck a pedestrian. He failed to stop but returned soon after and was co-operating with the police investigation.
An Australian newspaper reported the car crossed the centreline moments before the collision.
Pomare's wounds were significant - including several broken bones, cuts and grazing over much of his body that was so bad it was considered the equivalent of first degree burns.
Doctors sedated Pomare and told his fiancee, Sapphire Chase, it was "touch and go", Tata said.
"The first 24 hours we weren't sure whether he would come home or not."
But Pomare, who is from Panguru in the Far North but also lived in Tokoroa and Levin before crossing the Tasman five years ago, had surprised everyone with his progress in the Alfred Hospital intensive care unit.
"He's progressing really well, more rapidly than doctors were expecting. They're amazed his bones have already started healing."
Pomare had already undergone reconstructions of his knee, elbow and ear and needed skin grafts down his back.
More surgeries would follow, but he had escaped brain, spinal and internal injuries.
His first words were, unsurprisingly, ones of confusion, but he was now telling Chase that "he loves her and can't wait to see his babies", Tata said.
Pomare is a slaughterman in a meatworks and the family is also heavily involved in the rugby league community - he coaches, and Chase manages, the Pakenham Eels under-14 rugby league team.
The family had been buoyed by the support they had received from family, friends and the community.
"It just shows us how loved this guy is ... we're getting lots of food, calls, koha, even wood. We don't need a lot but they just keep coming."
The recovery would be long, but Pomare had something wonderful to look forward to when he eventually left hospital.
A wedding to his sweetheart of two decades, Tata said.
"He's been asking my sister to marry him for years and she always said 'it's just a piece of paper'. It just wasn't a priority."
Now the couple's kids, who are aged between 2 and 15, are busy planning their parents big day, Tata said.
They even know when it will happen. Sort of.
"The day he gets out of hospital the kids already have the wedding planned."