John Dillon was president of the IFA (Irish Farmers' Association) at the time of his accident. He was retrieving cattle from a field across the road from his farmhouse and he was following them on his quad bike.
John’s quad went up on a slight rise in the field that lifted the front wheels off the ground. As a reaction, John put his leg out to save himself from the rearing quad, but he accidentally accelerated and caught his leg on the back wheel.
“I broke it off, nothing was holding it but a bit of skin and a bit of flesh,” he recalled.
John was shouting after falling off the bike; he was also trying to keep the full weight of the quad bike from crushing him with his other leg.
A number of his sons were nearby and his son Joe was very close. John is sure that this is what saved him. “I wouldn’t have lasted long, I was getting weak,” said the farmer, “when my son came in, he got the bike off me in full”.
The ambulance was called, and the quick-thinking-pair removed John’s belt and wrapped it around his leg to stem the blood flow.
It was an uncertain time, and nobody could predict what would happen. “I never had pain like this pain,” said John, “the pain was awful, and it was awful for months” he explained.
As a result of his injury, John’s leg is now approximately half-an-inch shorter than it was before the accident. It’s stiffer, rather than painful he reports; however, he does now walk with a limp.
“I wouldn’t be as confident as I was prior to the accident”. admitted John. The Dillons need the quad bike for their farm work, but they are far more conscious of farm safety now.
They are all aware of what can happen and how easily accidents can happen.
John has stern advice for farmers or anyone who operates a quad bike: “The very first thing they need to know is that they cannot put out their leg if they are in any type of danger.”
“If my son Joe had not been with me that day, I’d be just another farm death,” John concluded.
Image source: Health & Safety Authority \ Youtube