QLD_CP_NEWS_CRASHVICTIM_09MAY19
QLD_CP_NEWS_CRASHVICTIM_09MAY19

‘Blood everywhere’: How paramedics saved man

DAVID "Preacha" Shields has no memory of the people who brought him back to life as he lay bleeding on the side of a Far North highway.

The last thing he remembers is shouting "no lady, no lady, no" as a woman turned her vehicle across the path of his northbound motorbike.

His 74-year-old body went flying off his beloved Harley Davidson in the middle of the Captain Cook Hwy at Palm Cove and his left leg was severed off.

Motorbike rider David 'Preacha' Shields was involved in a collision with a car while riding on the Captain Cook Highway at Palm Cove last year. The crash broke his shoulder, fractured ribs, severed tendons in his right leg and he had to have his left leg amputated. He lost 3 litres of blood and was in a coma for five days. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Motorbike rider David 'Preacha' Shields was involved in a collision with a car while riding on the Captain Cook Highway at Palm Cove last year. The crash broke his shoulder, fractured ribs, severed tendons in his right leg and he had to have his left leg amputated. He lost 3 litres of blood and was in a coma for five days. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Witnesses later told him he was "talking like a chatterbox" as a bystander tried to apply a rudimentary tourniquet while paramedics raced to the scene.

"From what I heard, one lady raced over. There was blood everywhere and I was just a mangled mess," the veteran motorcyclist recalled.

Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney was one of six who rushed to his aid.

He remembers another officer walking into his office at Cairns ambulance station after the call came in, saying "it looks bad".

Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney has spoken of attending the crash of motorcyclist David
Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney has spoken of attending the crash of motorcyclist David "Preacha" Shields at Palm Cove last year where the 74-year-old's leg had to be amputated. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"There was debris all over the road," he said.

"The bike was pretty mangled.

"His foot was just hanging on by a tendon, really.

"I knew we wouldn't be able to save his foot.

"There was tissue and bone all over the road to be honest."

The 59-year-old veteran paramedic said they worked feverishly to stabilise him, tourniquet the wound, giving him pain medication and fluid before sedating him and taking him to Cairns Hospital under "code 1" - paramedic terminology for the most critical of patients.

Mr Sweeney said he later heard Mr Shields went into cardiac arrest after reaching hospital, but was able to be revived.

He is adamant that had paramedics not got to him so quickly, Mr Shields would be dead.

"Without controlling the bleeding, he wouldn't have made it," Mr Sweeney said.

"It was a really good team effort … and the outcome was as good as could be expected."

Mr Shields has no qualms about losing his limb. In fact, he is just grateful everyone worked so hard to save his "74-year-old, broken body".

David
David "Preacha" Shields had his leg amputated after a car pulled in front of his motorbike on the Captain Cook Highway at Palm Cove last year. He has a new prosthetic and a new three-wheel motorbike. Graham "Spike" Walker and David "Preacha" Shields at Ellis Beach. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"They went out of their way to save me," he said.

"I'm just so rapt they (paramedics and doctors) do the job as efficiently as they do or I wouldn't be here."

The northern beaches retiree now fashions a prosthetic which he said he is "starting to love" and is back on the road having taken possession of a new automatic trike motorbike.

He revealed he had even more reason to be thankful to the region's emergency services, also recalling another crash he had about a year before in Parramatta Park, colliding with a scooter.

"I broke my back and my pelvis," he said.

"The ambulance people were wonderful there and so were the police, they do a wonderful job."



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