A MANDURAH man is lucky to be alive following a freak accident at the Meadow Springs Golf Club.
Josh Conley, a former Mandurah Catholic College student, was playing a round of golf with friends on Sunday, June 10 in preparation for a pennants competition when the storm hit.
In an effort to take cover from the storm, 18-year-old Mr Conley and a friend took shelter in their golf buggy which was parked at the seventh tee.
In a freak accident, Mr Conley and his friend were crushed inside the buggy when a branch came down on top of their vehicle, trapping the two.
Mr Conley said if it wasn’t for fellow members of the golf club, he would not be alive.
“I would just like to thank the Meadow Springs Golf Club for all their help; if it wasn’t for the members lifting the branch off us, I wouldn’t be alive,” he said.
Five club members, including Mr Conley’s father who was a few holes further along the course, took three attempts to lift the branch off the cart.
Mr Conley and his friend were then transferred to Royal Perth Hospital suffering spinal injuries, deep cuts and broken teeth.
“I broke a disc around my vertebrae and was millimetres off breaking my vertebrae which would have left me as a quadriplegic,” he said.
On top of his injuries, Mr Conley severely damaged his right ankle.
“I snapped my tibia, fibula and other bones in my ankle.”
Mr Conley said he was scared he could die.
“You see those movies where someone’s leg is trapped and they release the pressure and they die; that was going through my mind,” he said.
Mr Conley said he lost consciousness and stopped breathing during the ordeal, but the efforts of the club members kept him breathing.
“I’m just so thankful for their help,” he said.
Mr Conley had one operation on Monday, a second yesterday and will undergo a third operation next week.
“Hopefully I can be released next weekend but I won’t be able to go home, I will have to go to Shenton Park for rehabilitation,” he said.
With his parents supporting him, Mr Conley said he can’t wait to get back to the golf club.
“All the members have been so supportive, and I’ve had a lot of ‘get wells’,” he said.
Mr Conley said he in no way had an ill-feeling towards the Meadow Springs Golf Club and said the support of the club had been phenomenal.
Playing off a one handicap, Mr Conley is one of the club’s most promising golfers.
Despite the ordeal, Mr Conley said he is ready to get back out on the course.
“As soon as I am able to walk I will be back out practising,” he said.