Surfer praises paramedics

Andrew on Mount Coolum nine months after he was told he would never walk again.

By Abbey Cannan

A surfer has thanked the paramedics who saved him after a surfing accident at a Noosa beach, after which he was told he would never walk again.

Former patient Andrew Pink was reunited with the paramedics that assisted him after an incident that left him with a significant spinal cord injury on 27 January this year.

Andrew suffered an ’incomplete’ C3/C4 cervical spinal cord injury and was advised by doctors that there was a very high possibility he would be a quadriplegic (paralysis of all four limbs).

Paramedics Troy Jones, Gary Lewis, Richard Kirkpatrick, Jeffrey Bradfield and Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Hayley Tapia Vergara, immediately recognised the seriousness of his injuries that day.

The QAS Triple Zero (000) caller can be heard saying to the dispatcher, “He stood up and then fell to the sand and rolled over pretty hard.“

“The man is in the water not breathing and they’re trying to bring him in and there’s two men in the water keeping him afloat.“

Advance Care Paramedic Gary Lewis said it was a miracle that Andrew was walking.

That is exactly what Andrew did as he walked into the room at Noosa Heads Ambulance Station, having beaten all odds to thank the ambulance crews that treated him.

“When I came out of the ocean, they were calm, it just made the whole situation calm and I just felt like I was in safe hands,“ Andrew said.

“So to see them again now is a really good experience. Going through rehab, having my three children was one of the main reasons I needed to get life back to normality,“Andrew’s son Rueben Pink said he got someone from the rocks to help his dad when he realised he was in trouble.

“There was only one person, so it was lucky there was someone there to call for help,“ he said.

Despite the unfortunate experience, Andrew said he would like to get back out into the ocean.

His attitude to overcome the mental and physical challenges is a testament to his strength and character and today.

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