Recovery thanks to help of many

I was born in the Port Lincoln Hospital in 1974. At 12-months-old I moved to Cummins where I spent my childhood, I attended Cummins Area School which I loved and played junior football for Reds. For my high school years, I moved back to Port Lincoln with a brief stint at Cleve Area School.

After school I worked on an oyster lease and at 19, I moved to the Gold Coast for a career as a motor mechanic. I worked for Ford motor company for 15 years, the whole time missing the country life. At that time I was in a defacto relationship and had two sons Craig, who is now 24 and Shane, now deceased. I married the love of my life Leanne in 2003 and we have two sons, Aiden, 15 and Cody, 13.

In 2008 I moved to the Ford dealership on Kangaroo Island as a service manager. A year later a better opportunity presented itself to manage a Dunlop dealership. I held this position for five years, gaining knowledge in agricultural earthmover and passenger tyres. In 2013 we purchased Robinson’s Tyre Centre in my home town of Cummins. We changed the business name to Cummins Tyre Centre and specialize in agricultural tyres with a fully equipped service truck with a four ton hiab crane for big jobs and on farm servicing. We bought a new John Bean wheel alignment machine which has been invaluable for accurate aligning and have a great staff that are keen, hardworking and eager to help. We also carry a huge range of tyres and batteries so down time is reduced.

Everything was going well until August 27, 2017. While riding dirt bikes with family and some friends at Brooker I misjudged a corner and hit a tree at high speed. It was obvious to my friends that I was in a bit of trouble, Jamie Letton called the ambulance and I was taken by car back to the sheds where the ride began. Friends and family looked after me and Aiden was sent to the road to direct the ambulance as my condition deteriorated. Volunteer ambulance officers John Treloar and Amy Warner arrived and assessed me where the call was made to Medstar for a retrieval team.

I was taken to Cummins Hospital where I was sedated and ventilated, then airlifted to Royal Adelaide where I was in a coma in intensive care for four days. During this time I was given a tracheostomy to let me breathe and I had plates put in my larynx. An MRI revealed the extent of my injuries. I had numerous skull fractures, a broken nose, a broken and dislocated jaw, fractured eye socket, broken T8 vertebrae and a fracture to the base of my skull. After nearly two weeks in intensive care I was moved to the plastics ward where I waited for the swelling to subside before I had further surgery. In the next five weeks in the new RAH I had two plates inserted in my jaw, a plate inserted above my left eye and an implant to support it under my eye.

While all this was going on the Cummins community were madly fundraising to help ease the financial burden. We couldn’t believe the support we received from individuals, sporting clubs, church groups and the wider community. Our manager, Ash Stephens kept our business’ doors open and he went above and beyond our expectations. We would like to acknowledge all the work from the volunteer ambulance crew, Royal Flying Doctors, Cummins Hospital and the RAH, without them I wouldn’t be alive.