Patient Story -

Stockman says thanks after motorbike fall

Mark Kendle was laying on a deserted paddock in rural Queensland, over one hour from the nearest town, in excruciating pain.

He had suffered a serious leg dislocation after falling awkwardly from a motorbike while rounding up sheep with his son-in-law and wondered how on earth he was going to get the medical help he so desperately needed.

Mark Kendle takes us through the day he very nearly lost his leg.

“I had rode over the whole paddock, trying to round up the lambs without success, when I rode up near some water on the fence line,” he said. “I tried to go another way through but went through a muddy patch and my bike slid out right from under me.”

“I knew I was going down so I tried to hold the bike up.”

“I put my left leg out at right angles to the bike thinking I could use my strength to stop the bike from sliding and my leg would anchor me. But the bike kept sliding, turning my hips with it and leaving my leg behind.”

"The twisting notion pulled my leg straight out of the knee cap. I started screaming to my son-in-law who was 300 metres away that I had broken my leg."

“I looked down to see that my leg was dislocated at 45 degrees to my knee. The bone was pushing hard out onto the side of my knee and the knee cap had fallen through to the back of my leg. I had a big hole where my kneecap and leg bone used to be.”

“I fell back into the mud and laid there in agony for an hour until the ambulance from St George arrived. My next thought was what the hell will happen to me, stuck out here so far from town?”

“I knew it was serious when the paramedics from St George said we needed additional help.”

“I was told I could lose my leg if the artery was damaged whilst trying to move me or trying to put my leg back in.”

“CareFlight arrived shortly after with two pilots, a doctor and an emergency nurse. I could not believe such help existed and as I found out later – at no cost to me.”

“I was very emotional when they arrived as I am not used to being made such a fuss of. The team were so focussed on getting me to hospital as soon as possible, they made me feel safe and they gave me hope - and I really mean that.”

“I was to learn during my five day stay at Toowoomba Base Hospital just how many patients CareFlight actually transport as I saw new patients coming into my ward every couple of days who had been flown in by the CareFlight helicopter.”

“If CareFlight didn’t turn up that day, I would have easily lost my leg.”

“Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have such a fantastic organisation available to the public. They have my greatest respect.”

“My recovery process has been long. My knee is still not too good. I have just had complex surgery in March but that will have a nine to 12 month recovery period.”

“But I look on the bright side, it could have been worse – no leg.”