When Matt Gane’s mustering helicopter came down in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, CareFlight launched a complex rescue mission.
The mission involved two helicopters, a long range air ambulance and two Darwin based medical teams, as well as a local paramedic. News of the events triggered a huge outpouring of support from the community.
The accident occurred while Matt was mustering in a Robinson R22 helicopter on remote Kiana Station, more than 800km south-east of Darwin and 100km south of Borroloola.
Thirty-year-old Matt was left with a broken pelvis and severe head injuries. He’s since told his inspiring story, in which he defied all the odds in what can only be described as a miraculous recovery.
After spending six weeks in Darwin hospital, Matt was transferred to the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre in South Australia. From there, he was quickly back on his feet, attending daily physical therapy sessions to improve his movement. The combination of brain injury and a broken pelvis meant he had to learn to walk again.
“I feel like there are still a few problems with my brain, like my speech slowing down when I get tired, but they’re getting better and improving every day,” he told the ABC in an interview following his initial recover.
“I know that I was in the best possible hands, and probably the best in Australia, they have been so good.
“I’ve had to do a little bit of rehab from home, as they’ve given me home exercises, so I’m still in a comfortable environment.”
Matt said he owed a great deal of gratitude to the medical staff who treated him, and to his family and friends.
“I have no recollection of it, but I believe CareFlight played a big part in getting me to medical attention,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough.”