Crash horror: ‘Quick as a click of the fingers’
BRUCE Shenfield was driving around a bend on Hay Point Rd when he saw a black SUV veering towards him.
"I saw the car coming towards me and went 'oh s---' and jammed on the brakes," he said. "As I was driving around the bend I looked to see oncoming traffic and saw a car on my side of the road."
Mr Shenfield lost consciousness for 10 seconds. When he came to, his legs felt like they were "on fire".
"I knew they were broken. The Sarina Fire guys who worked at Dalrymple Bay Terminal got a call about the crash and they knew me."
"Mick Forde, Darren Ballard, Karl Pitt - he climbed in and gave me a green whistle and kept me calm.
"They got the tools out to push the truck off my legs because the front of the truck was squashing them. They couldn't believe how calm I was. I said 'I'm fine, just check on the other car'."
It wasn't until a couple of days after the February 14 crash that Mr Shenfield received the news the other driver, Sharon France, had died and her son Kaiden was in Townsville Hospital.
"That was terrible," he said.
"I'm upset about the lady that died and the little boy being in hospital but there was nothing I could do.
"The police and forensic officers said I did everything right, so that helped a bit.
"I want to send my best wishes to the family and the little boy."
After a month of multiple surgeries and healing, Mr Shenfield returned home from Mackay Base Hospital on March 11.
Still sore and recovering from his injuries, the father of two was in positive spirits this week, despite the long road ahead.
"I'm just waiting for my bones to heal and the swelling to go down," he said.
"I'll be back at the hospital … to get stitches out and I will see the orthopedic surgeons so they can do an assessment on my leg and see how I'm tracking.
"My right foot had a plate and three metal pins in the side of my foot, and in five weeks I'll be back in hospital to get the pins out. I had my final operation on my leg a couple of weeks ago."
Mr Shenfield suffered a broken sternum, two broken ribs, a bruised lung and kidney, a compound fracture to his left leg, a complex dislocated fracture to his foot, a fracture to his eye socket and a fracture to his nose.
On February 26, he saw big signs of improvement when he was able to get into a wheelchair for the first time.
"A massive achievement for him since having four major operations on his legs, foot and face. He still has a long road to recovery," his daughter Brittany posted.
On March 6, he underwent his fifth operation, on his right foot.
External pins were removed and a metal plate with wires put in their place.
Mr Shenfield said it was the company and love of his friends and family, and even strangers, that helped him get through the tough time.
"There was a young fella named Josh who visited me. He was driving behind me that day and saw the whole thing," he said.
"It could've been him."
Despite the aches and pains, Mr Shenfield said he was "healing pretty quick", and waiting for his bones to "mesh together" and to get the all-clear before he can weight-bear on crutches.
"It could be between three to six months," he said.
On February 20, a GoFundMe page was created to help support Mr Shenfield during his long road to recovery. The page has raised slightly more than $7600 of its $8000 target, and has been shared 1100 times.
"It's very nice and very generous of people," he said.
Mr Shenfield thanked the Mackay Base Hospital nurses, doctors, wards and hospital staff for their "friendly and professional" care.
To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/bruce-shenfield-support.