It hasn’t been easy going for Gavin Howie, but back on his farm 16 months after a grisly accident that saw his legs trapped beneath an industrial grass-slasher, he is walking again.
“I’m lucky to still be here, really,” he said.
“There was nobody around at the time, but I managed to get my phone and call my mate for help and he came.”
He woke up the next day — his 36th birthday — as a double amputee in hospital, with a hard journey ahead of him.
But this week, Mr Howie threw away his walking sticks.
While he can’t outrun his two young sons anymore, he said getting back on his feet was enough.
“You find ways around things or maybe you can’t take a direct route somewhere, but you can pick your tracks so you don’t fall over,” he said.
He received life-saving treatment in Darwin followed by new prosthetics from a world-renowned surgeon in Sydney.
Mr Howie said he had undergone at least seven surgeries in Darwin and in Sydney, and even had to grow one of his leg bones longer in order to receive a prosthetic where a titanium rod is implanted straight into the bone.
“I had to grow one of the bones in the left side because it was too short to put the implant in,” he said.
“They’ve got a new thing out where you can break the bone and slowly stretch it out, so I grew 7 centimetres of bone in the left side.”
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