Jelly in the middle
WHEN electrician Warren Hansen fell from a power pole on a property near Blackwater after an electric shock, he wished he had known more about the spine's fragility.
"I thought the spine was tough, this big bony thing in your back that holds you up," he says.
"I didn't realise it was jelly in the middle.
"Now they tell me, after it was chopped in half.
"I'd never spent a day in hospital in my life.
"The only time I'd ever taken an antibiotic was for a tonsil infection.
"To suddenly one morning wake and the doctor telling me I'm not going to walk again … you wouldn't mind if you'd been a sickly person already, but when you go from being so independent to all of a sudden (in a wheelchair), it was a huge transition."
Coming from an appointment about his blood pressure and infections related to his injuries, Warren said he agreed with "Dr Jon's new policy".
"Things have got to get really crook for me to turn up," he said.
"You put off things. You ignore and then hope it goes away.
"I don't want to speak for others, but I think you'd find that with a lot of blokes on properties.
"I have to come every month now - I'm not allowed to wait every two months or more.
"Jon's sick of having to fix all the problems."
Warren, now in his early 50s, grew up in the Atherton Tablelands until his father bought Trafalgar Station, near Blackwater.
After a stint in Rocky, he took over the Jundah pub from his father.
"We have a place in Rockhampton ... but we're happy to come back every time," he says.
"Rocky wasn't our thing, we're not city slickers. Unless you've grown up in a city or town, it's never comfortable sitting on the veranda in Rockhampton listening to the abuse as people wander past."
Although a reluctant patient himself, Warren lauds the RFDS.
"You couldn't do without them. They're the lifeline to these towns."