In­jured para­medic in re­mark­able re­cov­ery

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

PARA­MEDIC Wes­ley Ackerman is back on the road fol­low­ing a re­mark­able re­cov­ery from crit­i­cal in­juries sus­tained when a car hit his am­bu­lance seven months ago in Old­bury.

The crash frac­tured Mr Ackerman’s spine in his neck and lower back, col­lapsed a lung, broke his jaw and his left leg was frac­tured in mul­ti­ple places.

It broke his right toe and tore lig­a­ments in his shoul­der.

His liver, spleen and bowel were lac­er­ated and the ure­thra sev­ered.

“The in­juries were quite se­vere so the doc­tors and fam­ily ex­pected the worst,” Mr Ackerman said. “My par­ents came over; they thought I was go­ing to die.”

Ini­tial surg­eries on the Hil­bert fa­ther-of-three fo­cused on re­pair­ing the bowel and ure­thra, then mi­nor pro­ce­dures were per­formed in­clud­ing a pin in his leg.

Check-ups con­tin­ued for the month he was hos­pi­talised.

St John Am­bu­lance or­gan­ised a nanny for the fam­ily and his wife Odile vis­ited Mr Ackerman daily.

Once dis­charged, he was twice forced back into hos­pi­tal with com­pli­ca­tions.

“It was two steps for­ward and one step back,” he said.

While he re­mem­bers very lit­tle of the in­ci­dent and his early re­cov­ery, Mr Ackerman quickly set his mind on get­ting well and ac­tive again.

“I’ve been ea­ger to get back to work and think its bet­ter to be ac­tive,” he said.

“Now I want to strengthen my leg and get some mus­cle. I can walk but not run yet. And I’m aim­ing for full-time du­ties.”

He set his sights on be­ing back at work within six months of the crash and has al­ready spent a month on light du­ties with St John Am­bu­lance at the Bel­mont head­quar­ters. d470453 Wal­ter Ten Haaf’s Nis­san Navara was on the wrong side of the road when it hit the am­bu­lance on Mundi­jong Road.

Ten Haaf pleaded guilty to dan­ger­ous driv­ing oc­ca­sion­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm while un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs and dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm over the Old­bury crash.

As part of his sen­tenc­ing, the mat­ter will next be in court on July 14.

The driver of the am­bu­lance, Shar­ron Price, was also in­jured in the crash.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Para­medic Wes­ley Ackerman was crit­i­cally in­jured in Oc­to­ber 2016 when a car hit his am­bu­lance.

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