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Northern NSW : Rescue Winter15
RescueClub Roger that... Having just refilled his water tank, Roger was heading back up a hill when the bike flung backwards and landed on him. He thinks he might have been going back for smoko, and is unsure if a ‘roo or a rabbit jumped out in front of him. They are both interesting elements of his story. ‘ I thought I was dying,’ said 62 year old Roger. ‘ I was able to get my phone and I rang my wife and my boss, but neither answered. I then rang triple 0. ‘ They were great and organised the helicopter rescue straight away while I was on the phone. They then contacted my boss and my wife.’ Both Roger’s legs and all of one side were numb and triple 0 stayed in contact. ‘ Keep talking, they said, keep talking ... c an you hear a vehicle?’ Roger then lost his phone and was distraught, but eventually he did hear a vehicle just as he was starting to fade out. It was his boss. ‘ He was able to get the quad bike off me, and that is the last I remember,’ Roger said. ‘ I have a complete memory block of the next four weeks. I can’t remember being in hospital.’ The ‘roo and smoko elements are significant. Roger was a safety conscious operator of his quad bike, and he was in the habit of taking his morning break at 9.30 . An animal jumping in front of him is a possible explanation of the accident. Interestingly, triple 0’s record of Roger’s call is 11.06am. Is it possible he was knocked out for an hour and a half before coming to and making the phone call that probably saved his life? Either way it is an extraordinary story of endurance and survival. Roger’s injuries were extensive. They included multiple breaks to his left shoulder and a broken left collarbone causing a ‘floating shoulder’, seven breaks to his pelvis, nine broken ribs on his left side, three broken ribs on his right side, arterial bleeding, urethra disruption from the broken pelvis and a flail chest. On top of this he suffered type-1 respiratory failure in hospital, which resulted in insertion and nine days intubated in ICU. All up Roger spent eight weeks in the John Hunter and Singleton hospitals during which time he had an external fixation inserted into his pelvis and underwent three big operations and five procedures. ‘ I’m very lucky to be here,’ Roger said. ‘ If it wasn’t for my mobile ... ‘ The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is phenomenal, but I also must thank my boss, the local ambulance, police and the doctors. There were a stack of people turned up.’ He is still being treated for full blood clots in both legs from the pelvis injuries and is receiving ongoing psychological treatment and physiotherapy. Roger joined the Rescue Club and was keen to tell his story. And the blackberries can wait. ROGER EVELEIGH was spraying blackberries at Bowmans Creek near Singleton on July 3 last year when he suffered severe injuries after the quad bike he was riding rolled on top of him. 15 Rescue Magazine WINTER 2015
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