Gympie teenager thanks LifeFlight after surviving trample

A Gympie teenager who was trampled by a cow has visited the Sunshine Coast’s LifeFlight base to say thank you to the aeromedical crew.

Jorja McIntyre, 17, was mustering cattle in her part-time job at a Cinnabar feedlot, west of Kilkivan, when she was knocked over and then trampled.

“I turned my head to look at the cow that had moved past me as I was walking to the fence,” Jorja said.

“And that’s when the other cow came up from behind and knocked me over and then stood on me a few times. I cannot remember the whole thing. But I was in a lot of pain when I came to.”

Jorja’s uncle drove her to Murgon Hospital, before she was transported by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedics to Kingaroy Hospital.

X-rays confirmed the then Year 11 Gympie High School student had multiple pelvic fractures and extensive internal bleeding.

A LifeFlight aeromedical team was called to fly her to Toowoomba Hospital.

Scans at the Toowoomba Hospital showed not just a fractured pelvis, but a fractured L3, a phase 4 tear in her spleen, kidney and liver tears and a small deflation in a lung.

“I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember being in safe hands,” she said.

“The LifeFlight team were amazing. Not only did they tend to all my injuries and take a few photos for me, but they also kept me calm.

“I had never been in a helicopter before, let alone in one in the dark.

“I didn’t have my parents with me, so the crew were great at keeping me calm and treating me like a ‘princess’.

“One of the LifeFlight crew actually told me my pain threshold was incredibly high and that most grown men would be in tears with my injuries.”

Jorja said visiting the LifeFlight base with her parents Barry and Kelly and sister Rhianna, was amazing.

Her family now make an annual donation to LifeFlight and have helped raise awareness in their community about how LifeFlight’s aeromedical teams save and change Queensland lives. 

“I will be forever grateful for what LifeFlight did for me that day.”

Kelly said visiting the base with her family and seeing a helicopter fitted out with lifesaving equipment that potentially saved her daughter’s life was ‘emotional’.

“It takes a team to make it all work and had there not been a chopper available, we wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in today where we get to see her graduate in three months’ time,” she said.

“LifeFlight really are heroes in the skies.”