WHEN Bill Aldenhoven fell from his horse on a beach near Killarney he says the last thing he remembers was get out of the way of horse.
Mr Aldenhoven, 64, was with his wife Melissa and the Dunolly Riding Club when he was seriously injured in January.
“I remember very little,” he said.
“It was the end of the ride and the horse fell on to its knees.
“I skidded over her head.
“The horse has almost then somersaulted.
“The last thing I thought was I need to get out its way.
“I tried to scramble backwards but it got my pelvis and right leg.”
Mr Aldenhoven, who lives near Avoca, was flown to The Alfred hospital in a critical but stable condition.
He suffered internal injuries including a badly fractured pelvis and was bleeding profusely.
His pelvis was also smashed and the horse landing on his right leg did serious damage to nerves in the limb.
He was in intensive care for 28 days before undergoing rehabilitation at Caulfield Hospital.
Mr Aldenhoven arrived home in May but knows the recovery will be a long road.
“I’m having ongoing surgery to remove the pins from my pelvis and rebuild it,” he said.
“The Warrnambool paramedics were there on the spot, they were very diligent.
“If they hadn’t been there I would be dead.”
He said he was a private person but he wanted to share his story to shine a light on the work done by staff at The Alfred.
“They answered every question and kept my wife and family fully informed,” he said.
“They didn’t give false hope.
“A person with the injuries I had would normally die.
“I want to give them full credit.
“The only reason I’m doing this is because I can’t speak highly enough of them.
“The nurses were so positive and encouraging. They didn’t give you a chance to lose confidence.”
Mr Aldenhoven said before the accident he was jogging three times a week and chopping wood and it was his goal to get back to that.
“I’d love to go back to doing what I was doing before,” he said.
“Last winter I was riding with my wife in the foothills of the Pyrenees and I said ‘this can’t last, something awful will happen’.
“Zeus got me.”