October 26, 2013
Nine years ago, Murgon woman Shona Muckert was driving home on Reifs Road at Manyung when her Mitsubishi Pajero lost traction in some loose gravel.
The 4WD slid sideways and then rolled about five times, ending up in a paddock.
Shona, who was 25 at the time, was pinned by the legs.
It was about 10:30pm; the vehicle was on its side with its undercarriage facing a road which had very little traffic.
She wasn’t found until a farmer and his son came along about 9:00am the next day; she was conscious the whole time … It was a lifetime away from where she had been just a few weeks earlier, working at a ski resort in France.
Murgon born and bred, Shona’s career was blossoming and she was enjoying life when she received a phone call from her parents Morag and Perry telling her that her grandfather was gravely ill. She came home and managed to spend a fortnight with him before he died.
The Friday after the funeral, she offered to drop home a friend who had come up from Brisbane on the bus. She was returning to her parents’ home nearby when the crash occurred.
Shona, who had worked in Dr Graham McAllister’s practice, kept her head, urging the farmer not to free her with his tractor before emergency services arrived.
This may have saved her life. However Shona was gravely injured and lost both legs in the accident. She was left with just 4cm of her femur on her left leg and lost her right leg below her knee.
After 14 operations – and months of rehabilitation – Shona got on with her life, taking up wheelchair sport, getting a job with Disability Services in Murgon and even having a son, Quinn, who is now 2 1/2.
And then one day she was reading an amputee newsletter which featured a story about a man who had undergone specialist surgery which had enabled him to walk again.
She quickly found herself talking to Dr Munjed Al Muderis, the expert who had carried out the osseointegration surgery mentioned in the newsletter (Dr Muderis is also featured in the November issue of Women’s Weekly magazine).
He is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world who performs an operation in which a metallic rod is inserted directly into the remaining bone, creating an artificial attachment point that protrudes from the limb and can be connected to a prosthesis.
Shona says at the moment she is “24/7” in a wheelchair as regular prosthetics don’t suit her left leg. If she has the osseointegration surgery, she’ll be “going from nothing to something”.
The operation – and associated costs of prosthetics etc – will cost between $70,000 and $100,000, Shona hopes to have it done in July next year. And so the fundraising began.
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The Murgon community has taken Shona under its wing, especially local businesswoman Raelene Dennis, from Dennis Electrical Services, who volunteered to be her fundraising co-ordinator.
A committee was formed which consists of Shona’s sisters Kate and Laura, Sarah Murray, Rosemary Braithwaite, Cameron Bond and Fran Hutton.
Fundraising so far has included catering jobs and Sunday’s bike ride (see box, top right).
Wheatlands State School raised $192 at a free dress day.
Assistance also came from the recent “Dusty Day Out”, with Dusty Hill Cellar Door at Moffatdale donating $1340 from ticket sales and tips from the bar.
There’s lots of other events planned, too.
A Lawn Bowls day will be held on November 17 from 12:30pm at Murgon Bowls Club. Tickets are $25 which includes bowls, an evening meal and entertainment.
A calendar is also being published to help fill the coffers. Local photographers Sherrianne Talon and Peter Allcock have joined with Shona’s sister Laura to put together a calendar which will be launched at Murgon Golf Club on November 29. The photos will also be reproduced on canvas and auctioned on the night.
There have also been personal donations; fundraising is being done under the umbrella of Murgon Apex, which enables donations to be tax deductible.
Local businesses have also thrown their weight behind the cause.
Brett and Simone Greer, from MPR Furnishings, have a “Muckert Bucket” in their store which they have also taken to the Nanango and Wondai markets.
Donations have also been collected at the Tablelands and Murgon markets.
And help isn’t only coming from Murgon.
Kingaroy artist Cherry Carroll has donated a painting of a wombat which she is raffling to raise funds. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5, and are available at the Nimue Art Gallery in King Street, Kingaroy, or by phoning Cherry on 0409-622-772.
Hivesville artist Shannus O’Sullivan has also donated one of his paintings which will also be raffled, with tickets to be available soon in Murgon.
- For more information about fundraising events, see Shona’s Facebook page or website
- Personal donations can be made on Shona’s My Cause page
- Read about Shona’s accident in her own words
UPDATE October 28: More than 60 riders took part in Sunday’s motorbike ride and an impressive $4335.65 was raised!