Miracle recovery after farm buggy disaster


AN idyllic weekend on the family farm was turned upside down when a farm accident left 10-year-old Chelsea Borg with a shattered skull and a brain bleed.

A farm worker and Chelsea had decided to take a buggy out to inspect the property's irrigation when a wheel ruptured, and the vehicle careened into a tree.

Mum Sarah Borg was back at the farmhouse cooking a Saturday afternoon barbecue for the family when she heard about the crash from another farm worker.

"We didn't really think it was that serious when we got there; Chelsea was talking, knew where she was and what had happened and hadn't lost consciousness," she said.

"Our farm is just 10 minutes down the road from Sarina Hospital, so we took her there to get checked out and the decision was taken to transfer her to Mackay for a full lot of scans.

"It was in Mackay that she had a CT scan that showed a bleed in the brain and a fractured skull. I was so glad they did this because sometimes clinicians can be reluctant due to the exposure to radiation."

The family were transferred to Townsville University Hospital where Sarah met a neurosurgeon in the emergency department and Chelsea was rushed into operating theatre for emergency surgery.

Surgeons performed a left craniotomy and removed the brain bleed.

"The fracture in the skull was cut out, the surgeons removed the clot and then they stitched the pieces of the skull back on," Sarah said.

"It was an overnight stay in paediatric intensive care unit and five days of recovery in the children's ward, and then we were back home - almost exactly a week after it happened."

Sarah said Chelsea was on the mend, but doctors expected it to be anywhere between three and 12 months before she is fully recovered.

"Look it is hard for a 10-year-old girl to be told to take it easy for a few months, but she is getting there," she said.

"I'm just really glad that we took the head injury seriously and didn't wait to get treatment."

The Borg family has owned a 7000-acre cattle and cane farm just outside of Sarina for the past 35 years.

Chelsea is the eldest of four girls with Madelyn (8), Heidi (3) and Gwen (18 months) keeping Sarah and partner Stewart on their toes.

Originally published as Miracle recovery after farm buggy disaster