Flying Doctor ready to help our farmers. Wherever. Whenever

Date published

27 Jul 2020

Working in remote locations, our farmers are often a far distance from help should an incident occur.

On-farm death and injury is a major problem for rural and remote communities in Australia. The injury fatality rate for farmworkers is nine times higher than any other industry in Australia and the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section is often called to emergencies where people have been injured on the farm, whether it be while on a quad bike or using machinery.

Following on from National Farm Safety Week, the Flying Doctor wants to raise awareness around the importance of medical care for regional and remote communities, as our frontline staff often attend accidents that have taken place in a remote farm setting.

Jed was helping muster sheep on a friend’s property when his accident happened. He came off his motorbike on the farm and shooting pain in his wrist and ankle quickly told him how much trouble he was in.

“I was coming around some of the sheep,” he remembers, “and this creek bed just seemed to come out of nowhere. I couldn’t brake in time and I flipped over the front bars of my bike.”

Jed fractured his wrist and shattered his ankle, but he says the pain didn’t kick in until he tried to stand up. He was helped into the back of a ute for the 2-hour long journey back into town with nothing but a couple of pillows to cushion the agonising impacts of the bumpy road.

Jed called his mother Tammy on the journey, who in turn called an ambulance. They met halfway and Jed was rushed straight to Broken Hill Hospital.

By the time he arrived, Jed’s foot was badly swollen. X-rays soon revealed his ankle was badly shattered and he needed to get to Dubbo for urgent treatment. Tammy said she felt enormous relief when the Flying Doctor arrived the next day to take him there.

“It would have been really daunting for him to travel eight or nine hours in a car in so much pain. There are kangaroos and things on the road, and the stretch between Cobar and Dubbo is rough.”

Soon after arriving in Dubbo, Jed went in for surgery and a plate and pins were put in his ankle to repair his broken bones and support a good recovery.

After surgery, the Flying Doctor team was there again to get him home safely and comfortably. He says they were a very welcome sight, as he had been dreading the trip home.

“I’m six foot two. I wouldn’t have fit in a car very well with my leg up.”

While he’ll have to spend the next couple of months off his feet, Jed’s recovery is going well. He says he’s looking forward to going out with his mates and playing rugby again, and yes, even getting back on the motorbike.

“I’m even missing school a little bit, to be honest,” he admits.

Jed believes his ordeal would have been much tougher without the Flying Doctor by his side.

“They’re real lifesavers,” he says. “All the team was very nice to me. They’re good people.”

And Tammy couldn’t agree more.

“I love the Flying Doctor. I think it’s amazing what they do, and I felt good with my son in their care. They’re absolute saviours.”

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is a charitable organisation. We rely on the generosity of the community to continue our life-saving work.

Media contact Lily Cardis: 0436 622 802 or lily.cardis@rfdsse.org.au