The Chronicle

Heroes reunite with patient


RESILIENCE is a powerful tool and one that kicked in at the most crucial time for Rachel Salisbury after she sustained serious injuries in a freak incident.

She was operating a rideon mower on her large block of land, about 2km away from her house in Silver Ridge, when it suddenly rolled down a hill, causing the blades to almost completely sever Ms Salisbury’s hand.

With the blades cutting into her wrist, the mum and teacher said a large part of her hand and two fingers had detached, but she has no memory of feeling pain.

“It kind of felt like a karate chop – I didn’t think anything was wrong when the mower fell on top of me, but then I looked down and saw my hand,” she said.

“I was listening to a podcast, and that’s all I could hear, but it felt like I was dreaming.”

Managing to claw her way out of the gully, Ms Salisbury picked up her hand and called triple-0.

Advanced care paramedics Tyson Kleesh and Seth Towell arrived onsite quickly and were led to the area with the help of Ms Salisbury’s daughter Elara.

And despite spending several weeks in a Brisbane hospital, battling a serious infection and undergoing intensive treatments, the traumatic incident has only made Ms Salisbury stronger.

“I’ve always been a strong person, but this takes a whole different level of strength,” she said.

“It’s reassuring that there’s lots of good in the world, and we need to be really proud of our emergency services people.”

Reuniting for the first time on Thursday with the pair of high-care paramedics who rescued her, Ms Salisbury said she was full of gratitude.

“When I crashed, I didn’t think I was going to get out of that gully – I thought I was going to die down there,” she said.

“Hearing the voices of the paramedics was like nothing else, and I’m very grateful that we have such great people and resources to be able to go down a beaten bush track to pick me up.”

Taking it day by day while she continues to recover, the teacher said the incident wouldn’t stop her from doing anything, including getting back on the ride-on mower.

And after eight years with her partner David Wigan, Ms Salisbury decided to make it official, proposing to him in hospital.

 ?? Picture: Nev Madsen ?? HUMBLE HEROES: QAS advanced-care paramedics Tyson Kleesh (left) and Seth Towell with Rachel Salisbury.
Picture: Nev Madsen HUMBLE HEROES: QAS advanced-care paramedics Tyson Kleesh (left) and Seth Towell with Rachel Salisbury.

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