News

Darren Phillip on journey to recovery after brush with death

DARREN Phillip was on his way home to his family when his life was changed in an instant.

Driving between the canefields at Condong, just north of Murwillumbah, Mr Phillip's car and a four-wheel-drive crashed head-on, leaving the father of three close to death and starting him on an entirely different sort of journey.

That fateful night happened nearly a year ago - on July 11 2014 - and Mr Phillip is still fighting to recover from the shocking injuries the crash left him with.

>>The initial report: Man critically injured in head on collision at Murwillumbah

The scene of the crash that nearly killed Darren Phillip in July 2014.
The scene of the crash that nearly killed Darren Phillip in July 2014.

"I had two broken arms, a broken leg, ankle, pelvis, upper and lower jaw, a fractured skull, lacerated tongue and liver, a collapsed lung, brain and spinal injuries and numerous abrasions," Mr Phillip said.

As bad as that sounds, it doesn't necessarily get across the appalling severity of Mr Phillip's injuries.

Darren Phillip in hospital after the crash.
Darren Phillip in hospital after the crash.

 

He was left in an induced coma for a fortnight and, when he awoke, doctors at the Gold Coast University Hospital told him he had just survived some of the worst injuries they had ever seen.

His survival still comes as a surprise to some in his community.

"I'll be walking down the street and people will say, Hey! I thought you died!" Mr Philip said.

Darren Phillip recovering in hospital
Darren Phillip recovering in hospital

That he survived is in no small part down to the CareFlight team that flew in to help him and take him to hospital.

"Darren had blood pooling in the back of his throat (when the CareFlight crew arrived on the scene) and had suffered some of the worst facial injuries I have seen," CareFlight doctor Hayley Frieslich said.

Darren Phillip with two of his children.
Darren Phillip with two of his children.

"This was affecting his ability to swallow and keep his airways clear.

"In the state we found him, his condition could very quickly become life threatening."

Mr Phillip is still undergoing rehabilitation and remain at least six months away from being able to return to work, but has managed to catch up with, and thank the CareFlight crew.

"With the amount of blood I lost, I am certain I wouldn't be alive today if I had to make the journey to hospital by road," he said.

"I've known of CareFlight for a long time because we have a few of their bears.

"I never thought I'd need them like that.

"I know for sure without them I wouldn't be here."

Topics:  car crashes, careflight, editors picks



Our young Attenborough scoops documentary awards

Knockrow wildlife documentary maker Marli Lopez-Hope during filming for The Great Forest

"The subject has created a lot of talk, which is what we wanted."

Why this Lismore mum will no longer be forced to sell her home

MUCH NEEDED: Rotary Club of Summerland Sunrise donated almost $4500 to the Mitchell family for renovations to support mobility for their son Isaac, who has cerebral palsy. Pictured is Rose Mitchell and Isaac (foreground), with (from left) Past President Andrew Heap, Josephine Saunders, President Zell Bennett, and Graham Meineke (background).

A local club has made a huge difference for this family

Surfrider Foundation to give voice to Ballina surfers

BURIED: This steel anchor, a component of the planned Lighthouse Beach shark barrier, is now completely buried along with several others after two days of big swell and high tides.

A "positive outcome” from the shark barrier debacle.

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction