Loyal pet stays by the side of woman trapped in dunny hole

Long fall: A 65-year-old woman was trapped inside a 2.5m makeshift toilet hole with a fractured leg on a Baffle Creek property.
Long fall: A 65-year-old woman was trapped inside a 2.5m makeshift toilet hole with a fractured leg on a Baffle Creek property. AGL Action Rescue Helicopter

THE excruciating pain of being trapped down a 2.5m backyard toilet hole with a fractured knee may have been made all the more bearable for Susan Saunders by hearing the whimpers of her 10-year-old blue heeler, named Dog.

The presence of her loyal companion reassured the 65-year-old she was not alone, as she waited in the makeshift dunny with her leg twisted in an "unimaginable" position for hours on her property, near Baffle Creek, until help arrived.

Mrs Saunders' husband, Gary, said his wife had been alone on the Wartburg property where they were in the process of building a new home, on Friday afternoon.

"There was a storm brewing and my boat was outside so she decided she would cover up the depth sounder and GPS," he said.

It was when Mrs Saunders was trying to put the boat cover on that the freak accident happened.

"She must have over balanced and stepped back, took one step too far and fell down the hole," he said.

The force of the fall in such a confined space caused Mrs Saunders' knee to "snap" out of the knee socket.

"Her leg was in the position you'd never think a leg could go," Mr Saunders said.

"Her toes were pointing towards her face."

Luckily for the trapped woman, the toilet pit had been there for only a few days.

"We'd yet to put the box on the top," Mr Saunders said.

Mr Saunders said when he returned from Gladstone two hours later, Dog led him to where his wife had fallen.

"She is a bit of a hero being able to bear the pain," he said.

"I was okay at the time but it wasn't until the next day it home a bit.

"You really do relive their pain when it's somebody you love."

Mr Saunders said it was expected his wife would be flown to Brisbane to have a full knee reconstruction.

"She didn't deserve it but it's just another one of life's hurdles," he said.

"She's a tough woman, she'll get over it."

Mr Saunders praised the efforts of the emergency services, including the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter, which used a rescue strop to lift Mrs Saunders from the hole after giving her heavy pain relief.

"They are absolutely brilliant people," he said.

"Without them, she'd still be in there."

Topics:  accident agl action rescue helicopter dog editors picks

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