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AustraliaWife claims farmer's gone 60 hours without food waiting for surgery

08:50  28 may  2019
08:50  28 may  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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An Aussie farmer needing urgent surgery following a horrific farm accident has allegedly spent 60 hours in hospital without food because his operation keeps being rescheduled, his wife has claimed . Gavin Boekel was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland on May 14 after he was

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Wife claims farmer's gone 60 hours without food waiting for surgery© LifeFight Emergency services working to free Gavin Boekel following an accident at a Queensland farm. An Aussie farmer needing urgent surgery following a horrific farm accident has allegedly spent 60 hours in hospital without food because his operation keeps being rescheduled, his wife has claimed.

Gavin Boekel was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland on May 14 after he was dragged into a piece of farming machinery on a private property in the Scenic Rim region.

The father-to-five had been using a shovel while working with a grain auger when he slipped. It would be three hours before emergency services freed Mr Boekel from the machine.

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The accident left one of his legs severed below the knee while the other leg was crushed. His back was broken in seven places and he had a cracked pelvis.

The situation was so severe doctors from the LifeFlight Critical Care team performed emergency surgery in the farm yard before Mr Boekel was placed in an induced coma for transport to hospital.

“He’s been working on that machine for over 20 years and never dreamt that could happen,” Mr Boekel’s wife, Rachelle, told nine.com.au.

“No one has had an accident on it before. My stepfather kept him alive. He shovelled the grain out so (Mr Boekel) wouldn’t (suffocate).

“He was conscious the whole time until … he rang me in there to say goodbye.”

Wife claims farmer's gone 60 hours without food waiting for surgery© Facebook Gavin Boekel (left) waiting for another operation. His wife Rachelle (right) says her step father was among those who helped keep Mr Boekel alive before help arrived. Mr Boekel, who lives with his family at the base of the Toowoomba ranges, is now waiting for surgery to treat an infection in the amputated stump of his left leg. Surgeons have reconstructed his right leg using muscle from his back.

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“He was on the priority list this morning, but because there’s an accident… they get… we’ve been bumped. We keep missing surgery,” Mrs Boekel said.

Wife claims farmer's gone 60 hours without food waiting for surgery
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“It’s just destroyed him. He’s just fading away. He’s been 60 hours no food because they kept bumping operation … he’s lost so much weight, he’s drained, he’s emotional and it’s such an adjustment."

She was quick to stress that she understood it was not the hospital staff’s fault for the delays, but that it was an issue for government.

“(Hospital staff) tell me ‘we know he’s important, these people are important too’… it’s not the hospital’s fault. It’s the state government no one is doing enough,” she said.

“There are not enough staff and not enough overtime. I’ve been talking to staff, there are huge accidents every day… everyone in the ward gets bumped they just can’t get them in. The surgeons are just working huge hours.”

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Nine.com.au has contacted Queensland Health for comment on Mrs Boekel's claims.

According to the hospital’s annual report, PAH is part of Metro South Health and is one of 16 hospital and health services in Queensland. It serves about one million people or 23 per cent of the state’s population.

As Mrs Boekel speaks into the phone from inside the hospital, the sound of a helicopter can be heard overhead.

“Another helicopter is landing now,” she said through tears.

“I need the Prime Minister to pull his head in and start looking after the people… I tell you I’m not going to sit down, not just for my Gavin but everyone here.

“I feel sorry for the people, that was me waiting for Gavin…. It’s not just us. it’s happening every day in this place. This is just phenomenal. They’re just so exhausted.”

Wife claims farmer's gone 60 hours without food waiting for surgery© Facebook The father-to-five had been using a shovel while working with a grain auger when he slipped.

While Mrs Boekel waits for news for her husband’s surgery, her friends have set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds. The funds will be used for Mrs Boekel and her five children to rent a property close to PAH as well as pay for new school uniforms. Mr Boekel is expected to need long-term treatment for his injuries.

“He’s so tough, he’s so brave, he’s so strong. I would not have lived through that,” she said.

“It’s just been so surreal. Friends have said if you don’t go public no one can help you. I’ve posted even though he’s a private man, I can’t do this on my own. We’ve had a hard road but we’re not going to give up yet.

“We’re very proud people, I’ve never asked for money before. It’s bizarre for us.”

Contact reporter Kate Kachor at nine.com.au.

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