Paul Pratt (Pratt Agencies) with vendor John Muller and the charity heifer’s buyers, Cory and Brent Evans, from Jen-Daview Stud, and SBLX site manager Andrew Wieland who bid on behalf of AAM (Photo: SBLX)

November 24, 2021

The South Burnett Livestock Exchange (SBLX) selling community has rallied behind a Murgon cattle producer who credits RACQ LifeFlight Rescue for saving his life.

Experienced cattleman John Muller, 75, suffered life-threatening injuries during an on-farm accident on September 13.

This week, at Tuesday’s SBLX Fat and Store Sale, John gave back by donating the proceeds of the sale of a heifer in a charity auction which raised $3576 for LifeFlight.

An SBLX spokesperson said John had been working on his own on the day of the accident.

He climbed up the side of a cattle crush to ear tag stock from above when he lost his footing and fell to the bottom of the raceway and became trapped.

“Using remarkable survival skills, and in an effort (he) describes as ‘extremely difficult’, he dug at the dirt under the gate to create enough room for him to crawl to safety, while repeatedly being kicked and stomped on by the six head of weaners which were on top of him,” the spokesperson said.

“After freeing himself, he opened the gate on the cattle in the crush so they were safe, then drove himself to find help.”

Ambulance officers treated John during his trip to the Murgon Hospital.

It wasn’t until he was safely loaded on the LifeFlight helicopter at Murgon Hospital that he learned the extent of his trauma, which included two collapsed lungs, broken ribs and a gash to his head.

“I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for LifeFlight,” Mr Muller said.

“When I was in the helicopter the doctor explained my injuries, that I had collapsed lungs and they needed to drain them. I was treated so well and the doctor made me feel safe and secure.

“Later, when I was recovering in hospital, I told my wife I wanted to give back to LifeFlight, and that I would donate a heifer for charity.”

On sale day, the Brahman cross heifer donated by the Mullers received immense support and was initially knocked down to AAM Investment Group (AAM) for 666c/kg or $1998/head.

AAM, which owns and operates SBLX, swiftly opted to donate the heifer back into the sale for a second auction, where the Evans Family, Jen-Daview Limousin Stud, purchased the heifer for 526.2c/kg or $1578/head.

John was overwhelmed by the result, and said he was proud he could support the service he would always be immeasurably grateful for.

SBLX site manager Andrew Wieland said the selling facility was honoured to support John and LifeFlight.

“We hear the LifeFlight chopper fly overhead almost weekly here at the site, and John is a long-time vendor, so it was an easy decision to support the cause,” Andrew said.

Pratt Agencies owner and selling agent Paul Pratt said it meant a great deal to him to be able to aid LifeFlight and John.

“John came into our office only about a fortnight after his accident and we were all surprised to be seeing him that soon. While he was fairly black and blue, he had recovered very quickly, and we wanted to do all we could to support this initiative,” Paul said.

Reflecting on the accident, John credits his good health and fitness, maintained by his physical job and walking about 5km each day for exercise, for his fast recovery.

“This old fella healed up pretty quick in the end,” he said.

However, he believes his story is a cautionary tale and will think carefully about his personal safety when working stock in the future.

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