Waggers' Close Call

In late July, my brother John and myself set off on a dirt bike trip to Cape York. We got to the top OK, but I had a bit of trouble on the way back. For reasons unknown (I don't remember a thing), I was found lying on the track next to my bike after what must have been a spectacular crash. They helicoptered my semi-conscious body to a hospital on Thursday Island, where they took one look at me and decided that I was too sick for them to handle. They put me on a plane to Cairns, who made a similar decision and sent me to Brisbane. I spent about two weeks in intensive care with rubber hoses, IV tubes, wires, computers, morphine, etc. Apparently they had a lot of trouble with me pulling out the hoses and wires. There was one widget that they normally clip on the end of your finger. They tried it on every finger and every toe before finally having to hang it on my ear. They eventually tied my hands to the bed.

I then spent a further 2 weeks in a more conventional ward before they let me return to Sydney. A rough summary of injuries (I'm sure some of you will be busting to know) is as follows:

I am now well on the way to recovery. I am walking 5-6km daily and have even started running and swimming. I have been in to work a couple of times and am doing some work at home. My lung and my stomach area are still slowing me down a bit, but another few weeks and I should be pretty much back to normal. My brain seems to be pretty much back to the way it was before (notice I didn't say "back to normal"). I had to go to a brain injury specialist last week to get approval to drive again (standard procedure after a fractured skull). He gave me the OK to drive, ride, work, use power tools, etc. I was a bit worried that he would think I was a nut case even though I was back to my previous state (I still didn't say "normal"). I'm sure that a lot of ex-Cheltenham people would gladly have testified on my behalf that I was actually a complete nut-case before the accident.

A big thank you is in order for all those that sent me a card or an email, or even rang my brother to find out what was going on and send their best wishes. These things mean a lot when you are dying of boredom (or other things) in a hospital bed.

Anyway, thanks again to everybody that contacted me one way or another during the last couple of months. News must still travel pretty fast. I hope to see some of you again if I am in Melbourne, or if you make it to Sydney.

Richard Wagschall.