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Northern NSW : Autumn 2011
Rescue Story: Steve McNab Steve’s first visit home, in a wheel chair, but on the road to recovery. On the night of April 23, 2010 Metford man Steven McNab, an underground coal miner, was at work when he became pinned and crushed in a longwall accident at Beltana Highwall Mining, near Broke. After some time and effort to try and free Steve and stabilise him underground, he was finally brought to the surface and was transported by the Service to John Hunter Hospital. Steve had suffered a broken pelvis, fractured vertebrae, a compound fracture of his right femur and a significant number of internal injuries, that would require a number of surgeries over the coming weeks. Steve’s partner Belinda said it was a miracle he had sur vi ved. “It was a very long hard recovery and Steve spent about eight weeks in total in hospital,” she said. “ He came home in a wheelchair and progressed to crutches and then walking under his own steam. He is now walking very well, and has recovered almost completely after so many surgeries that we lost count.” Belinda said a par ticular highlight for the couple was having the Service’s Chaplain Ian Osborn coming to visit while Steve was recovering. “ He came to visit and pray with us,” she said. “ We also found out some days later that Jay Pengelly was on the crew that transported Steve that night. “ Steve and Jay have known each other for a long time and Jay came to see Steve many times in the hospital,” she said. Steve has recently returned to work on light duties and has returned to playing golf. “ He has even won a competition,” she said. Even more exciting for the pair, following the accident and Steve’s tremendous recovery, was their recent engagement and Fijian wedding in January. “ Steve worked very hard to be able to move on his own and I was very proud of him,” Belinda said. “ On my birthday he proposed to me and I found out he had been working very hard practising to be able to walk on his own and get down on one knee.” Steve’s first visit home, in a wheelchair, but on the road to recovery. Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Rescue Autumn 2011 Page 3
Winter 2012 redo