REUNITED: Man impaled while mustering meets his saviours
AFTER almost losing his life in 2015, Jake Dingle was today reunited with the LifeFlight team who helped save him.
Mr Dingle has been a regular woodchopper at the Ekka for the last 15 years, however the material which he's familiar with was what almost claimed his life.
Mr Dingle was mustering on a family property, between Mundubbera and Gayndah, when he was impaled by the tip of a fallen, dead tree.
"As I cantered past on my horse, I didn't realise the tree was there and it went in at my knee, through my thigh, all the way up to my groin," he said.
"It was like a spear."
By a stroke of luck, the piece of wood stopped just short of his femoral artery.
Mr Dingle was urgently taken to Gayndah Hospital, where an RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter was waiting.
Brisbane-based critical care flight nurse Renee Bolot said airlifting a patient, with his leg still skewered by a tree branch, was a mission she wouldn't forget.
"It had been a busy morning and while we were at a Brisbane Hospital, dropping a patient off, the call came in that we needed to go to Gayndah," she said.
"Within an hour and a half, we were landing at the hospital and ready to provide Jake the critical care he needed.
"I'd seen a lot in my time as a flight nurse, but that job will stay with me for a while, he came so close to a very different outcome."
Mr Dingle was flown to Bundaberg Hospital, where the piece of branch was removed and he received thirty staples in his leg.
Due to RACQ LifeFlight Rescue's quick response and critical care, he was able to make a return to his beloved sport and has gone on to become an Australian champion.