Graphic: Jacob and his daughter
After a collision on his dirt bike, the 21-year-old needed emergency surgery to save his arm.
Jacob Good is 23 and has lived in Cobar for most of his life. Cobar is a mining town in central-western New South Wales, 712 km by road northwest of Sydney.
Growing up in a rural town Jacob enjoys all the things that a country boy would including driving his ute on dirt roads in the bush, playing rugby for his team the Cobar Roosters, fishing, and riding his dirt bike with his mates. Jacob is also a loving father to his daughter, Harlee.
As part of a bush community, Jacob and his family are well acquainted with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
“Being from a small town in outback NSW we don’t have a large variety of medical services,” Jacob said.
One afternoon in 2017, when Jacob was 21, he was out for a ride on his dirt bike when a serious incident occurred, nearly changing his life forever. Jacob was riding on a dirt stretch when one of his friends lost control of their motorbike, crashing into Jacob at a speed of 130km per hour. Jacob was lucky to have survived the impact, but the accident left him seriously injured.
“Because of the way I took the impact of the crash, I was left with a shattered right arm. I had ten major breaks in the bones between my elbow and wrist, three compound fractures where the bone snapped and punctured my skin and four greenstick fractures which is where my bone bent and cracked,” Jacob said.
Jacob’s family rushed him to Cobar hospital where staff told them to expect the worse, warning them that there was a high risk of Jacob losing his right arm, with an amputation looking necessary to save his life.
Jacob was scared. He needed his arm to make a living and to look after his young daughter. The prospect of being an amputee was overwhelming.
“The doctors at Cobar said I needed a major operation for them to be able to save my arm. As they didn’t have the technical skills do it in such a small hospital, the Flying Doctor was called,” Jacob said. Jacob was picked up by the RFDS team and transferred to Dubbo Base Hospital for vital surgery.
“I ended up with three metal plates and 67 screws in my arm, but they saved it, and I am so grateful. There’s no doubt they saved me from a life of difficulty,” Jacob said.
“If it wasn’t for the quick response time of the Flying Doctor and the incredible doctors at Dubbo, I would have been a 21-year-old father without a right arm. I am so grateful to the people who donate to the Flying Doctor, because of their generosity has meant I can get on with my life and raise my daughter,” Jacob said.
Jacob says he takes great comfort in knowing that the Flying Doctor is there for people living in rural communities like himself. He knows that if his daughter ever needed care, they would be there for her like they were for him.
“I want to give all my thanks to the RFDS, they are angels in the sky who help outback folk in need. I am so grateful for everything the Flying Doctor has done for me and my family,” Jacob said.