Patient Story -

One tonne tractor crushes woman

58 year old Cornelia Payne was slashing grass at home on her 40 acre property near Gatton in late 2005 when a typical farm accident happened.

Her tractor hit a log that was submerged in high grass, and started to tilt. Afraid that the tractor would roll over on top of her, she jumped off. Without her weight on it, the tractor righted itself as it went over the log.

It then began to roll backwards down the slope toward her, and Cornelia was run over by the large rear wheel of the one tonne tractor.

The accident broke Cornelia’s pelvis and lacerated her leg.

Cornelia was approximately 150 metres from the house when the accident happened, and while she normally lives there alone, luckily she had a friend, Bill staying with her at the time. Bill heard her yell from the paddock and was at her side within minutes. He tried to help her stand, but they soon realised she couldn’t move. Bill quickly ran back to the house to call the ambulance. Cornelia wasn’t afraid, after working as a nurse for 25 years, she knew enough not to panic. She was just in a lot of pain, and she realised she was losing a lot of blood from the deep, 25 centimetre long cut on her leg.

Bill’s call brought the ambulance to Cornelia’s property within 20 minutes. Because of her injuries, the ambulance crew decided that she shouldn’t be transported by road, and she needed to get to hospital in Brisbane for treatment as soon as possible.

CareFlight Queensland was immediately called to the scene, landing at Cornelia’s property and quickly airlifting her to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She immediately went into theatre for an operation to clean and repair her wound. While she was in hospital, she had three separate operations on her injuries. Cornelia stayed in hospital for three weeks before she was allowed to go home.

Now she is back on the tractor again, preparing the soil for the Australian native flowers she plans to plant on her property for market.