In late 2019, Harold Edwards was involved in a severe car accident which saw him airlifted to The Alfred and admitted to our recently expanded Trauma Ward.
On Christmas Eve, driving along a local road near his home town of Skipton, near Ballarat, Harry's windscreen was hit by rocks. His airbags deployed and as he swerved, he drove off a 200 metre high embankment, hitting a pole by the side of the road. Harry's legs were crushed, his kidneys were damaged and he had broken several ribs. Able to reach his mobile phone, he tried frantically to call for help, but he was in a mobile service black-spot.
When Harry recounts this story he is calm, not letting on the panic he must have felt during the agonising 23 hours it took for someone to find him. Harry's hope came from his knowledge that when locals notice a pole has been knocked to the ground, they will often investigate. Thankfully, a local farmer and his son found Harry after noticing the pole Harry had hit when he veered off the road.
Harry was airlifted to The Alfred where it was determined his right leg was too severely damaged to be saved and so once the Emergency and Trauma team had resuscitated Harry he was taken to an operating theatre where his leg was amputated below the knee. Following the operation Harry spent time in the Intensive Care Unit before being transferred to the new Trauma Ward where he stayed until February this year.
Harry is the quintessential Aussie farmer; glass half full and determined. It's these traits that undoubtedly helped him survive the horrific accident. Emergency and Trauma Physician, Dr Helen Stergiou said Harry was one of those patients who made the work so enjoyable.
"Harry's room faced Fawkner Park and there always seemed to be sunshine streaming in the room. Every time we walked in to see him, he was smiling," said Dr Stergiou.
Harry is now recovering back home in Ballarat where he says he is looking forward to the challenge of getting back to his farm.