It’s a very emotional thing, hearing the thud-thud-thud of the rotors
In March of 2017 Dav and his wife Kelly began their much-anticipated 8-day Overland track walk. On the third day, with just 3 kilometres further to go, Dav tripped over an exposed tree root. With the weight of his pack propelling him forward he didn’t have time put his hand or hiking stick out to break his fall, and face-planted onto the track, one leg still caught in the root.
Dav says, “I didn’t hear the pop that people talk about, but I later learned that that was when I tore my ACL. I really messed up my left knee. I tried a few times to get up, thinking it was nothing more than a bruised ego, but every time I stood up my knee would give way. At that point we knew we were in trouble, we were three days walk in any direction from civilisation”.
Thankfully a school group was walking behind them on the track, and the team leader was able to give necessary first aid. Dav managed, with help, to make it to the nearest hut, where he met more doctors who happened to be walking the track, and a woman who’d experienced a similar injury. It took all these people to convince him to call 000.
Dav grimaces, remembering. “I was kind of trembling when I held that phone in my hand, just dialling 000, it’s a tough thing to do…but there’s a weight lifting of your shoulders when you do, just knowing that you’re getting help when you’re unable to help yourself.”
Although Dav struggled with feelings of guilt about needing the helicopter when, in his mind, he should have been able to walk out, he’s obviously still very affected by the memory of his rescue. “It’s a very emotional thing, hearing the thud-thud-thud of the rotors…you didn’t see it at first, then you saw the flash of yellow and red through the trees, and that’s when I knew it was the Westpac helicopter, coming to get me. Even now, one year past, it’s a really emotional thing.”
“It’s a very humbling experience to know that there’s someone who’s going out in harm’s way to come rescue you.”
Since that day he and his wife have been set on trying to help support the helicopter service. ”We want to return the favour by raising funds, raising awareness. You don’t know when it’s going to happen to you. Donate, please. Every cent counts.”