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Tradie’s miracle and ‘a half’

6th July, 2022

A young Forster tradie has avoided a near-death experience after being crushed from the waist down in a freak workplace accident.

Brendan Denniss, a boil maker by trade, recalled tending to an asphalt plant one Tuesday afternoon in Caloundra when disaster struck last February.

“As the elevated work platform rag-dolled both my legs, I was conscious the whole time. I was in utter shock seeing the bone sticking out of my right leg and blood flooding out of the other. There wasn’t much I could do,” Mr Denniss said.

The 27-year-old was rushed to Sunshine Coast University Hospital facing the possibility of losing his lower legs after immense blood loss and trauma…or worse.

“After two surgeries and five bags of blood, health staff broke to me I had four fractures, extensive nerve damage, and that it was an absolute miracle I was alive, and my legs were still attached,” he said

Brendan’s Mum Kylie Denniss scrambled to escape the strict Covid-19 restrictions of Western Australia to be by his side during the recovery at Nambour Hospital, but was thrown an immediate curveball.

Brendan pictured with mother Kylie in a New South Wales rehab centre.

“Not long after arriving in the sunshine state, we learnt Brendan had contracted Covid-19. It was just devastating seeing Brendan alone through a glass window when he really needed our care,” Ms Denniss said.

Kylie and the family made themselves comfortable right next to Nambour Hospital for four weeks staying at the affordable Reed House from February 26.

“Reed House and its volunteers without a doubt took a huge weight of stress off our plate. The genuine care is what struck me the most – the little things they did with a smile including checking if we wanted a tea or coffee or simply checking if we’re okay – I’ll never forget it,” she said.

Brendan is now toiling away in a Northern New South Wales rehab centre as he embarks on the journey of walking again, with the support of loved ones. He’s graduated from the wheelchair to occasionally using crutches, and can now stand for up to 30 minutes at a time.

“Kudos to the health staff who saved my life and the phenomenal volunteers at Reed House. The volunteers took away the pressure with all that was going on with work cover and the toll of a clinical environment. I am so grateful for having that escape when visiting Reed House for five weeks,” Mr Denniss said.

Since opening in 2009, Reed House, the 20-bed ‘home away from home’ has provided no cost or low cost accommodation on the doorstep of Nambour Hospital for more than 17,000 guests experiencing a health crisis.

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