Aengus Mannion spotted an issue with a fence near a main road one May evening in 2009; he was working a beef cattle feedlot in Navan, Co. Meath at the time.
Travelling on a teleporter, he feared the worse – that the field of over thirty cattle would break out onto the busy road, posing a danger to road users.
“I went up and as I was coming near the fence, the cattle were heading for the same fence and would have got out on the road.” Aengus Mannion explained in a video produced by the HSA (Health and Safety Authority).
“I parked the teleporter, jumped off it and turned the cattle away from it,” Aengus said as he
An animal shunted the teleporter and Aengus was suddenly hit by the bucket on the teleporter and pinned against a tree. “I thought both my legs were chopped off; there was blood everywhere.”
“I was an hour-and-twenty-minutes there; I started drifting in and out of a coma and I thought at one stage, this is it.”
Aengus was behind a hedge, screaming with pain with no mobile phone. “My voice began to go and my body was getting weaker. I thought I was going to die there and then on the spot.” He explained.
His voice carried in the valley and his neighbours – the McBrides – arrived and contacted the emergency services.
“I couldn’t see whether my legs were there or not; I feared the worst.”
Aengus was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda, where he spent nine-hours in theatre the first night; he underwent twenty-nine operations, floating between the Beaumount Hospital and Sligo University Hospital.
Aengus touched on the mental health issues that can arise following a serious accident; he said he “couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
Aengus – a Sligo native - became involved in Embrace FARM – an organisation that offered much-needed supported.
“It is a life-changing experience; on the physical end of it, you can’t do what you used to love doing and there are loads of issues, mentally at times, you have good days and bad days. Confidence is a huge issue too.”
“There are lots of things that I could have done to avoid it. I made the decision and I have to live with the consequences.”
“Farming is not going to stop at 5pm and that’s when a lot of these things will happen. People need support because you can’t do it yourself and them supports aren’t there, unfortunately.”
“The accident happened, it was scary but it did give me that push and to fight for life to get back to where I am today,” Aengus concluded.
Image source: HSA