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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Farmer's 'Final Call' to Wife After Legs Get Trapped in Blades of Grain Machine

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Last words are things we don’t often think about. It can be uncomfortable and sad to reflect on what we might say to our loved ones if we knew our time was up, but it’s an important consideration.

When Rachelle Boekel got a call from her husband, Gavin, who was out working on their emu farm on the morning of May 14, she probably didn’t expect what she heard him say.

Gavin, from Coleyville in Queensland, Australia, had gotten stuck in a grain machine and things looked grim. He had just a few words to say to his wife, sure his life was over, according to Daily Mail and the Gatton Star.

“I’m stuck, I love you — thank you for being the mother of my children.”

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Thankfully for everyone involved, it was not his time. Though his body was battered and his life still hangs in the balance, he’s fighting.

Extricating him from the machine was a delicate and painstaking process.

“It was a really sluggish course … however we needed to partially disassemble the equipment and manually rotate the auger, reversing it perhaps two centimetres at a time till we might slide his leg out,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services inspector Jed Crosby said, according to The Today Press.

“He was placed on a stretcher in a forklift to get him out of the grain bin and eight individuals had been serving to transport him in the direction of the helicopter throughout a paddock.”

Emergency personnel were surprised to find that Gavin was responsive and able to communicate with them as they worked to free him.

Even sadder? The fact that this all happened on Gavin’s birthday, as his wife pointed out in a post.

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“Some of you may not know but on Gavin’s Birthday he was in a horrific work accident that ripped his left leg under the knee off and trapped in a big mixing machine for over 4 1/2 hours trapped bleeding out,” Rachelle wrote on Facebook.

“The other leg crushed after 19 hours of surgery so far his right leg looks saveable … He has 7 fractured vertebrae in his back but his nerves are good … His pelvis is chipped and fractured.

“The list goes on but he can open those eyes and see me even though he’s in so much pain. Gavin is still on life support and can’t breathe on his own yet.

“We haven’t even given him his birthday present yet because he never came home.”

A GoFundMe has been started for the family, since Gavin is being kept at a hospital far from the family home. They are looking at months to years of recovery, which means uprooting their lives and their kids to try to be as close as possible and remain a family while he goes through intensive recovery.

“We live two hours out from the hospital and their school … Gavin is gonna be in there for approximately two years recovering,” Rachelle added.

The most recent update on the family’s GoFundMe page says that they are awaiting surgery and his leg seems to be infected. Rachelle thanked people for their prayers and support — but they’re going to need a lot more before Gavin is in the clear.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking