Injured trucker needs answers after fighting for his life

Cole and Karen Sorensen have hopes for Cole’s full recovery, but won’t know more until seeing a surgeon in Gladstone soon.
Cole and Karen Sorensen have hopes for Cole’s full recovery, but won’t know more until seeing a surgeon in Gladstone soon. JAKE JONES

COLE Sorensen will never drive trucks again. It's a harsh thing to contemplate but the 61-year-old says he is lucky to be alive.

He has been home for only two weeks, since a crash on the Dawson Hwy on February 23 left him unconscious for three weeks and fighting for life in Rockhampton and then Brisbane hospitals.

He was diagnosed with two fractures to the sternum, 12 fractured ribs, five broken vertebra, two exploded lungs and blood clots in his legs.

Although he is in pain when bending and moving, his wife Karen said it was a miracle that he was walking around albeit in a chest brace.

But while he's on the road to recovery, neither he nor his family has received sound advice on his medical problems or how to solve them.

Karen said while care at Rockhampton, and most recently Gladstone, hospitals had been top notch by medical staff, their problems began when he was transferred to Brisbane Hospital.

He had been driving a truck towing a dog trailer near Banana at the time of the accident. Police reported the truck came off the road about 10am and rolled on the opposite side.

"It happened so quick," said Cole. "The road had all these ruts in it… I know I was fighting the steering."

After being placed in an induced coma, he remembers nothing until he woke up in Brisbane Hospital three weeks after the accident.

Cole's wife Karen said the Rockhampton Hospital had been marvellous, which is why she was surprised and disappointed with the treatment at Brisbane.

She said not once in six weeks did she get an answer from the doctor who was meant to treat Cole.

"The orthopaedic surgeons in Rocky wanted to operate and put him in pins and plates through operation…but Brisbane changed their mind," she said, adding they were still trying to find out why.

Cole has since been seen at Gladstone Hospital and is set for an appointment with a specialist soon.

Brisbane Hospital media could not give a response before deadline, but The Observer will be investigating Mr Sorensen's case further.

Topics:  accident crash dawson highway gladstone hospital

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