Week 24 Woolshed Cave “The Rescue”, Elliston, Whyalla
Day 162 Tuesday 9 January 2007
Our first stop today was the Woolshed Caves near Elliston and it would prove to be a memorable one. At 10am whilst following a trail to the rear of the cave, Alison lost her footing and fell to the rocks below. Please note she did not go beyond any barrier fences so if you are visiting the site, ensure you also take extreme caution. It became quickly obvious that she had done some major injury and that the SES would be required. The teams of people who attended were from the Elliston Ambulance Service, The Port Kenny First Response Crew, and the Streak Bay SES. Some of the people were Polly, Liz, Wendy, Collette, Tim, David, Phillip and Mark to mention some of the names we remember took great care with her.
They first stabilised her with oxygen, blankets, pillows and pain killers before she was strapped tightly to a stretcher. Alison’s rescuers, carried her through waist deep sea water before she was raised up a ladder by rope. Then, with Steve joining in on the front of the stretcher, they carrier her up the many flights of stairs to the waiting ambulance. An incredible effort for a team of volunteers!
By 2.30pm Alison was in Elliston Hospital being x-rayed and was in good hands. Helen the relief nurse was so caring and helped make the transfer comfortable to Whyalla which we did in the 4WD as it was some 4 hours drive away.
We arrived in Whyalla around 9.00pm, and went immediately to Emergency. After another round of x-rays, Alison was sent up to the “High Dependency” ward, where she was finally settled in for the night. In the meantime accommodation had been arranged for Steve at the hospitals hostel. After going through all the registration procedures, we finally got to bed by about 11.30pm. What a day!!!! Unfortunately it wasn’t quite over for Alison who was still in considerable pain and consuming morphine in an attempt to escape the pain. She was in good hands though, being looked after by the efficient, but caring nursing staff, including Morag.
Day 163 Wednesday 10 January 2007
News is good; no pinning of the broken foot will be required. Now it is a patience game to see how or if our trip can continue and whether the name will be change to hop-about!
The fall made the news on TV and the paper.
Day 164 Thursday 11 January 2007
Alison is still in hospital, but they have managed to cut back the pain relief. She is buoyed by the well wished relayed to her off the forums and direct emails. Thank you all!
Day 165 Friday 12 January 2007
This morning it was decided by the surgeon that Alison could be discharged. With the assistance of the hospital’s welfare officer, Steve arranged for Alison’s flights back to Brisbane. By delaying the flights until Monday, we were able to get a much better deal than if she had flown over the weekend. With the hospital desperate for bed space, we were again helped out by the welfare officer who arranged for us to move into Elliott House the hospital’s nurses quarters. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and watching DVD’s.
Day 166 Saturday 13 January 2007
Another day spent with the leg up.
Day 167 Sunday 14 January 2007
Today Alison felt well enough to go for a short drive so we decided to head out to Point Lowly, which is about a 20 minute drive north of Whyalla on the way to Port Augusta. The highlight for us was the Point Lowly lighthouse and cottages. These were built in 1883, and stand on the point jutting out into the Spencer Gulf. Apparently the lighthouse is the oldest building in the Whyalla area and is heritage listed. It is now owned and operated by the Whyalla City Council after the Australian Maritime Safety authority decided it wasn’t necessary any more. The council has recently refurbished the lighthouse and it is still operational.
Alison made a valiant effort in getting as far as the entry gate, so that a shot of her could be taken in front of the lighthouse. Unfortunately that’s as far as she managed, and we were soon on our way back to Whyalla. On the way back we made a quick detour to Black Point, where there were quite a few beach shacks. The track in took us in along the edge of False Bay. With the tide out, the foreshore looked like some of the salt lakes we have seen. The sun glistened off what appeared to be salt crystals. We would have liked to explore this more, however the corrugated state of the road was causing Alison a lot of pain, so we headed back to the hospital.
Day 168 Monday 15 January 2007
We spent a quiet morning, doing some washing and getting Alison ready to go back home to Brisbane on the plane around 5.00pm.
The trip would be in two hops…Whyalla to Adelaide, then Adelaide to Brisbane. She would arrive in Brisbane about 10pm. A long trip home. After bidding a sad farewell to Alison, Steve followed up on an offer from fellow Overlander Andrew Hiscock, and joined him and his wife for a few beers. Steve was still undecided on how quickly he would head home.
Stay tuned as the adventure continues……