Split-second decision to save animal costs farmer leg
A VETERAN Woodstock farmer has spent the last seven months learning how to walk again after an Australia Day accident changed his life forever.
Kevin Whiting had worked on his farm for 40 years until he was injured on January 26 helping to save a young cow's life.
He said a split-second decision resulted in a horrific accident.
"A young steer got his head stuck in the hay eater … as I was trying to help him out of the hay feeder, it pinned my foot underneath it."
Mr Whiting suffered serious injuries to his foot and had to have his leg amputated just below his calf muscle.
"It was a shock … (doctors) tried to save it but they couldn't clear up the infection," he said.
The 77-year-old was bedridden for six weeks at the Townsville University Hospital and has undergone rehabilitation since.
Mr Whiting said he had come a long way since Australia Day.
"I have had good support with my friends and relatives who have prayed for me and the hospital nurses and doctors and physios have been so kind and helpful," he said.
Mr Whiting was forced to sell two thirds of his cattle at his 132ha farm while he was in hospital and is hoping to sell the property soon to embark on the next chapter of his life.
He recently finished his last treatment as an outpatient at the hospital and is looking forward to learning how to use his new prosthetic leg.
"It is really exhilarating after all this time that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.
"I've learnt to be more humble and it changes the horizons a bit but when you have other people around with you other ailments you still feel thankful."
Looking back on the fateful day, Mr Whiting said he wouldn't be here today without the help of technology.
"What I want to emphasise is, whoever is working on their own, they need to have their mobile phone on them," he said.
"My mobile phone saved my life."
Originally published as Split-second decision to save animal costs farmer leg