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Miracle on mountain may end with Tic Tac avalanche

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

William Callaghan can cash in on “a million Tic Tacs” after his mother’s prayers were miraculously answered today, on a remote and bitterly cold Victorian mountain.

William Callaghan can cash in on "a million Tic Tacs" after his mother's prayers were miraculously answered today, on a remote and bitterly cold Victorian mountain.

The 14-year-old boy, so lovingly described by mum Penny Callaghan, as "vulnerable" and "resilient", is back with his family, after he went missing on Mt Disappointment for two days.

Will, who has non-verbal autism, was separated from his family as they walked to the summit, and was lost without food or water in freezing, life-threatening conditions.

William Callaghan is hugged by his mother at the base camp at Mount Disappointment. He was found alive after two cold nights in Victoria's bush

Speaking in the hours before he was found just before 1pm on Wednesday, Ms Callaghan talked about her son, his beautiful nature and the things he loved.

"I want to give him a million Tic Tacs," she said.

"I often use it to sort of reinforce behaviour, and now, you know ... I just want to give him all the things that he loves."

As search parties numbering more than 400 scoured the vast site, on foot, horseback, motorcycle and from the air, hopes were fading fast on the third day.

Overnight, the search teams had begun blasting the TV show Thomas the Tank Engine from loud speakers, hoping to attract Will's attention.

"Sometimes being a mum of an autistic child is really tough," Ms Callaghan said, who also has another son with autism.

She revealed Will doesn't much like being hugged, but he may have his work cut out for him tonight.

"He doesn't typically like people touching him. It's always on his terms," she said.

"I'm not really the praying type, but I'm praying now, because I want him home," Ms Callaghan said, as day three broke on Mt Disappointment.

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The mercury dropped below zero on both nights, leaving Will, who was in blue tracksuit pants and a hoodie, extremely vulnerable.

His mum described him as "very skinny" and not "much padding on him".

On the plus side?

"He's always on the move. He's very active, so he's quite fit."

Emergency crews assist Will Callaghan, who was found after missing for two nights on a Victoria mountain.Penny Callaghan hugs her son, Will, who was found on day three of a huge search on Mt Disappointment, in Victoria.Will Callaghan beat the odds after a massive search ended with hugs and joy on Mt Disappointment.William Callaghan, wearing a blue jacket, is carried across the base camp where searchers had been camping for two nights, while looking for the missing 14-year-old.William Callaghan survived two nights of bitterly cold temperatures, wearing just blue tracksuit pants and a hoodie. Here he is seen in a blue jacket, being carried as search party members look on

Mt Disappointment was named by explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824 because of their disappointment that the dense tree growth prevented them from viewing Port Phillip Bay from the summit.

Today the mountain became a place where the unthinkable unfolded, and a family felt relief, love and joy.


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Source: 9News

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