I will never forget the sound of my leg breaking

Hi Everyone,

4 years ago i was on a 14 day hunting/tramping trip at Stewart Island with my Dad and Mum.

Day 6 saw us leaving christmas village for yankee river. It was a typicle day on the island with a bit of rain moving in and out. The tracks were slippery and muddy underfoot in places. We were tracking along making good time when i slipped, my right foot and ankle became wedged under a tree root. I will never forget the sound of my leg breaking. I had broken both my tibia and fibula bones in my leg and pretty much every bone in my ankle.

My Dad is hugly experenced in the outdoors and with my mums help made me as comfortable as possible. He then set off the emergancy locator beacon. These small devices are worth there weight in gold in my opinon.

Approx 4 hours later Richard Hayes from Southern lakes helicopters arrived with his winch man on board and st johns paramedic. I was winched up under the helicopter through a small gap in the bush canapy. We all managed to Fit in the Helicopter and i was flown to Invercargils Kew Hospital as a status 2 patient.

48 hours later i under went my first surgery to reconstruct my ankle. I had several more trips in and out of the operating theatre and another reconstruction in Christchurch in the year following my accident.

The 2 biggest things i learnt were to be perpared and not to panic. If we had not had a locator beacon Dad would have had to walk out to get help. This would have then put him under pressure and in risk of hurting himself. We had plenty of gear to make a shelter and keep warm if this had to have happened but having been prepared with the beacon saved time and the possibility of another accident.

When and if you ever find yourself in this situation it is scary. But you need to try and not panic and work out a plan to get help. I was very fortunate to have my Mum and Dad with me. Although my ankle gives me some trouble with it being so stiff and swelling hugely after a big day on the hill, i will not let it stop me getting out in the mountians doing what i love, hunting.


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