Matthew Hayden on the road to recovery after his surfing accident.
Matthew Hayden on the road to recovery after his surfing accident.

‘I dodged a bullet’: Hayden injured in surfing accident

MATTHEW Hayden considers himself "bloody lucky'' to escape seriously spinal injury after spearing head first into a Stradbroke Island sandbank.

Queensland Test cricket legend Hayden has two black eyes and torn ligaments and an undisplaced fracture in his back after being dumped during a surfing session with his son Josh on Friday.

"I was bloody lucky - seriously. I was having a blast because Josh and I had the conditions we were waiting for,'' Hayden said on Monday..

"We were frothing. It was an hour into the session and we had had half dozen waves together and I got this one right-handed wave which I sort of ducked under and that is pretty much all I can remember.

"I wasn't knocked out. I was speared into the top of the sandbank onto the top of my head.

"Then it twisted my head with my own weight and the weight of the wave.

"I heard this God almighty click in my neck. I did not get knocked out but I sort of came to and rolled up on my back.''

"I could have been in serious trouble. It has happened so many times with body surfers hitting the sand. You have a ton of water on your head. I have been dumped on Main Beach so many times but you just get away with it. This time I didn't.

"I hit the sand hard and was probably lucky.

"I took stock for a couple of seconds to make sure I could move my fingers and toes so I rolled on to my board and let the whitewash take me in. I lay on the beach for 20 minutes on my back.

"Fortuitously there were two ambulances taking control on the beach. I told them I was OK but when I went up to the service station I saw another lady who was a physiotherapist and said "what happened to you?''

"By that stage I had a big egg on my head. She told me to be careful and go easy because these things can build up.''

That night Sue Kelly, who is a physiotherapist and husband Ben, a surgeon, told Hayden they were concerned for him and Ben advised him to have scans which revealed the damage. 

The former opening batsmen suffered a fractured C6 and torn C4 and C5 ligaments.

"Queenslanders are great people. A few people were really kind to me and I am very grateful to them," Hayden said.

Hayden is wearing a neck brace and will see a specialist this week but it hopeful of being fit for his annual fishing trip this month to the Tiwi Island where he helps raise funds for the development of the local community.

Nicknamed Nature Boy for his love of outdoors life, Hayden has vowed that the accident won't stop him surfing.

"The ocean gives and the ocean takes, I will be back.," he said.



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