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Tough break for deerstalker

ACC Media Release

17 October 2013

Tough break for deerstalker

There’s nothing like getting injured to make you aware of the impact an injury can have on your life.

As part of ACC Safety Week 2013, ACC clients are sharing their stories about how they got injured – and they’re encouraging other Kiwis to pay attention to safety, to avoid getting injured themselves.

Below, New Plymouth’s Garry Rutherford shares his story:

“Be prepared” is the Scouts motto, and it’s one that certainly helped Garry Rutherford when a hunting trip turned bad!

Garry and his son were returning to their boat at the end of the trip, and at that stage, they probably thought the worst thing about it was not managing to bag a deer.

That was until Gary slipped on a couple of planks that acted as a bridge across the river.

“My right leg ended up under the planks, and my femur was broken,” says Garry. “I managed to get to my son then crawl to a mud patch, where we activated our locator beacon.

Garry says he was lucky to have good hunting gear.

“This happened about quarter past six, so it was dark. But once we set the beacon my wife knew something had gone wrong, and they were able to send out a helicopter.”

“Fortunately, they knew exactly where to find me, although at first the helicopter had difficulty finding somewhere suitable to land.”

Once the chopper crew reached Garry, he was flown to New Plymouth Hospital. He required surgery to fix the break, which he describes as being “like eggshells in there”.

Five months in a brace as well as ACC-funded physio followed, though initially the physiotherapy wasn’t as helpful as hoped, due to a cracked foot that was only discovered later.

“It took two and a half weeks of physio before I could bend my knee enough to cycle. I found that massages to my leg, to get the blood flowing, helped. Once my foot was fixed, things got better.”

The injury was a pain in other ways, says Garry, as he had to get people in to help with his home-kill business.

Garry is now back working and hunting.  He has even returned to the place of his injury, but there was no way he was crossing those planks again!

He has a bit of a limp, but no longer feels pain in his leg or ankle, and knows things could have been much worse.

“You never realise, until you have something like this happen to you, just how it affects you. It can be a bit of a nightmare really.”


© Scoop Media

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