Partner and child keep man alive

Love of survival shows comes in handy

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014
NEIL RATLEY/Fairfax NZ

Southland dairy worker Rob Andrews credits the desire not to leave behind a young family, a knowledge of first aid and watching a lot of survival shows on the Discovery Channel for saving his own life.

Rob Andrews
NICOLE GOURLEY/ FAIRFAXNZ
Rob Andrews recovers in hospital after a farm bike crash.

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When Rob Andrews lay in a road on a Southland dairy farm, losing enough blood to die, the faces of his partner and his 7-week-old daughter provided him with the motivation and the will to live.

First aid knowledge and a love for Discovery Channel survival shows also came in handy, Mr Andrews said from his wheelchair at the Southland Hospital.

Holding his young daughter Ayva-Jean in his arms with his partner Loguen Malcolm beside him, Mr Andrews explained how without first aid knowledge and the love he had for his family he would probably be dead.

A collision with another farm motorbike last week catapulted Mr Andrews, who was wearing a helmet, over the handlebars of his motorbike, leaving him lying on dairy truck track.

''I tried to wiggle my toes to see if anything was broken. They wiggled but when I tried to roll over I knew something was wrong,'' he said.

''My thigh moved but the lower half of my leg stayed put. It hurt a wee bit.''

It was then he saw a ''s**tload'' of blood gathering beside him and more blood pouring from a gash in his thigh.

The blood was gushing from a sliced femoral artery.He said he knew if he did not do something his life would ebb away where he lay.

''The faces of Loguen and Ayva-Jean came to my mind and kept me calm,'' he said.

A piece of rope he had with him on the motorbike became his lifeline.

''I used the rope and a bit of a tree branch to twist into a tourniquet,'' he said.

''I twisted it as hard as I could.

''First aid training and many hours spent watching the likes of Bear Grylls on the Discovery Channel proved their worth, he said.

''My mum enrolled me in St John when I was a kid and I have kept the training up. I can also say watching survival programs made a difference,'' he said.

''Lots of people told me those shows were was 'just crap'. Well that crap saved my life.''

Mr Andrews said he also owed a debt of gratitude to a workmate who arrived on the scene soon after the crash.

''He was there next to me and gave up the clothes off his back to keep me and the other rider warm.''

''I told him don't stop talking and if I stopped to slap me. I don't think I would have woken up again if I'd passed out.'' 

The pair discussed rugby.

''He told me he used to be a winger but got too fat so ended up in the front row. I think laughing helped,'' Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews and his partner Loguen said they both wanted to thank St John staff, members of the volunteer fire brigade and police for the work they did.

Despite needing 1.5 litres of blood pumped back into his body after slicing open a major artery, having a metal rod in his leg after breaking his femur in two places and damaging a kneecap, Mr Andrews said he was ready to go home and help out in any way he could back on the farm

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- The Southland Times

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