NO BULL: 'My Driza-Bone saved my life!'
CATTLE farmer Graeme Ware has spoken about his terrifying experience of being severely gored by a wild bull at his Pinnacle, Queensland property on Monday, while he waited for surgery at Mackay Base Hospital this afternoon.
The 66-year-old, whose injuries include eleven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder, a large leg wound and a groin wound, which was dangerously close to an artery, believed his heavy duty Driza-Bone jacket probably saved his life - alongside his trusty Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
The beacon, which alerted authorities in lieu of phone reception in the remote area, was previously recommended to him by his mate and Mirani Senior Constable, James Dolby.
"The thing that saved my life was the fact that I was wearing a real good quality Driza-Bone (jacket), 'cause it was cold and I drive an open top vehicle," Mr Ware said, fighting through shallow breaths.
"When the bull come at me I jumped behind the shed post, but he just whipped his head round the corner, 'cause I'm older and not as quick...he got hold of me by the coat and threw me up in the air...
"I was coming down and he caught me on the way down and threw me up again in front of him, he got down on me and that's where all the broken ribs and the caved in lung would have come from, I suppose.
"I just had to lay there and play dead, looking through me Driza-Bone and he sort of kept backing off me like they do...then he lost interest with me."
Rushing to escape as fast as he could with his grievous injuries, climbing a fence, he eventually reached 'Mollie' (his car's nickname) and got his EPIRB out.
"I set it off, but it was under power lines. I wasn't sure if they were going to take two hours to get to me 'cause I thought I had to wait for an aeroplane to go over..."
"I decided to start driving...I had to drive through it (the gate) and break it (without a windscreen).
"The wire started coming over the bonnet and I thought 'what am I going to do now'?"
Driving about eight kilometres, bleeding throughout Mollie, Mr Ward passed out for some time, leaving his car running, before eventually regaining consciousness and driving another three kilometres to his neighbour - who, frighteningly, wasn't home.
Heading a bit further "down the range", Mr Ware noticed two 4WDs coming and wondered where they were going, hoping rescuers had arrived.
Then he spotted a police car and, amazingly, Snr Const Dolby - who, evidently, played a continuously crucial part in Mr Ware's rescue.
"I felt pretty relieved, real relieved - at least I found someone who could help me..."
"He was pretty happy to see me, I think."
Soon, a RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter arrived to ferry Mr Ware to Mackay Base Hospital.
Mr Ware was adamant his EPIRB and long-length Driza-Bone were crucial in his lucky, but exhausting, escape.
"If he (the bull) had of hooked me in the belt the EPIRB would have gone to hell and I'd be in trouble."
"Between James, the cold day and the Driza-Bone I lived to tell another story."
As Mr Ware spoke in hospital, while he awaited surgery to thoroughly flush his deep, dirty leg wound, Snr Const Dolby stopped by for an unexpected visit, to Mr Ware's delight.
"I don't know about being tough, but I'll be right," Mr Ware said.