April 20, 2012
Just three years ago, it wasn’t certain that Jeff Still would survive.
He was airlifted to hospital after a motorcycle crash at Cooyar where he suffered life-threatening injuries including a crushed windpipe, a punctured bladder and broken bones.
The former professional motocross rider was performing a jump he’d done a thousand times before at the Cooyar motocross course, but this time something went terribly wrong.
He also broke his pelvis, both shoulder blades, his right cheekbone and eye socket, and every rib in multiple places. He also suffered kidney failure …
Jeff’s 15-year-old son Nic was with his father on the day of the accident and immediately called for help.
“When the ambos arrived they took one look at Dad knew he needed a helicopter,” Nic said.
“The RACQ CareFlight arrived about ten minutes after that.”
CareFlight’s Dr Chris Cheeseman spent an hour working on Jeff to prepare him to be airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
To keep him alive, Dr Cheeseman was required to perform two emergency procedures at the scene, under incredibly trying conditions.
“We had to perform a tracheotomy. Next we needed to urgently remove the blood from his punctured lungs. Luckily, both of these procedures were successful and we were able to transport the patient to Brisbane for specialist care,” Dr Cheeseman said.
As Dr Cheeseman worked to keep Jeff alive, Nic did his best to say calm and assist the medical team to stabilise his father.
“I held Dad’s arms down while the doctor was doing the lung drain. I tried to make him as comfortable as possible by taking his boots and his helmet off. He started breathing a lot better when his helmet was off,” Nic said.
“Dad was drifting in and out of consciousness. I could tell that he knew that it was pretty bad. I heard the doctor say that his injuries could be fatal, so that was pretty scary.”
Now fully recovered, Jeff Still returned to the RACQ CareFlight helicopter’s Toowoomba hangar today to generously donate a quad bike that will be auctioned off during CareFlight’s Gala Ball in May.
Jeff’s donation will join a string of other items which will go under the hammer at CareFlight’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
The Gala Ball will be held at the Toowoomba Showgrounds on May 26.
Every year RACQ CareFlight’s iconic blue and yellow helichoppers help hundreds of sick and injured patients. After nearly 30 years of service, RACQ CareFlight’s biggest supporters are still the communities of southern Queensland which contribute almost half of the service’s funding.