This handout photo received from Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on September 18, 2019
This handout photo received from Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane on September 18, 2019
Photo by Handout / AFP

Sydney: An Australian bushwalker who tumbled down a waterfall, snapping his leg in two, told Wednesday how he managed to crawl for two arduous days though scrub and forest to safety.

Neil Parker, 54, said his planned three-hour hike northwest of Brisbane went horribly wrong Sunday when he slipped six metres (20 feet) down the waterfall, fracturing his leg and wrist.

“I cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek at the bottom,” he told reporters from his hospital bed. The experienced hiker said the entire bottom half of his leg was hanging loose thanks to a “clean snap in half”.

“Straight away, I thought, ‘I’m now in a lot of trouble because no-one knows where I am’.” He immediately tried to phone for help, but after dropping his mobile “into the drink” started crawling back to a clearing where he believed he would have a better chance of being rescued. Efforts to attach a makeshift splint to the badly injured leg were ultimately successful, but caused pain so great he hallucinated, Parker said.

With just a “handful of nuts, a protein bar and some lollies” to sustain him, Parker began the excruciating three-kilometre (two-mile) journey, “scrambling and lifting, inch-by-inch” to the clearing. “What took me 40 minutes to walk up took me nearly two days to crawl back down,” he said.

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