Darren Phillip in an induced coma following a head on car collision.
Darren Phillip in an induced coma following a head on car collision. contributed

Murbah crash victim meets his life-savers

MURWILLUMBAH resident Darren Philip has been reunited with the rescuers who came to his aid following a horror crash on Cane Rd that almost killed him.

Yesterday's meeting with Dr Hayley Frieslich, at Care-Flight's Gold Coast base, helped the father-of- three finally learn the details of the horrific accident on July 11 last year.

Up until now, Mr Philip has had to rely on the pictures of a mangled wreckage resting beside cane fields.

 The 37-year-old was heading home from a night shift near his home last year when he was involved in a head-on collision with a four-wheel drive.

The impact left him trapped in his car bleeding from a severed artery in his tongue.

An RACQ CareFlight Rescue team, crewed by Ryan Purchase, was urgently tasked to the scene.

"Seeing the wreckage, it's incredible we had a patient to treat that day as the car was completely unrecognisable," Mr Purchase said.

CareFlight's Critical Care Doctor, Dr Frieslich and QAS paramedic Jay Newton stabilised Darren so he could be safely transported to the nearest trauma centre.

"Darren had blood pooling in the back of his throat and had suffered some of the worst facial injuries I have seen," Dr Frieslich said.

"This was affecting his ability to swallow and keep his airways clear.

"In the state we found him, his condition could very quickly become life threatening."

Darren remained in an induced coma in intensive care for two weeks and spent a further two months in intensive rehabilitation.

"I had two broken arms, a broken leg, ankle, pelvis, upper and lower jaw, a fractured skull, lacerated tongue and liver, a collapsed lung, brain and spinal injuries and numerous abrasions," he said.

His doctors at the Gold Coast University Hospital told Darren he survived some of the worst injuries they had ever seen.

Meanwhile news had spread among Murwillumbah's tight-knit community from the crash scene that Darren had not pulled through the ordeal.

Ten months on from his accident, he still gets bewildered locals stop him in the street.

"I'll be walking down the street and people will say, Hey! I thought you died!" Darren said.

Still rehabilitating, Darren has about six months before he can consider going back to work.

 He credits CareFlight with saving his life.

"With the amount of blood I lost, I am certain I wouldn't be alive today if I had to make the journey to hospital by road," he said.

"I never thought I'd need them like that."



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