Gavin Boekel hugs his daughter for the first time after losing his leg in a horrific farm accident in Coleyville last week.
Gavin Boekel hugs his daughter for the first time after losing his leg in a horrific farm accident in Coleyville last week. Contributed

'I love you - thank you for being the mother of my children'

RACHELLE Boekel's life was "flipped upside down" when her husband phoned to say "goodbye" while he was trapped inside farm machinery.

Gavin Boekel was working on his family's farm at Coleyville on Tuesday, May 14, when his legs became trapped in a grain auger.

He was airlifted to the Princess Alexandria Hospital in a critical condition after fire and ambulance crews worked for hours to free him.

Gavin's wife Rachelle Boekel told the Gatton Star he called her while still pinned in the grain bin to "say goodbye".

"He said 'I'm stuck, I love you - thank you for being the mother of my children'," Mrs Boekel said.

Mr Boekel has had multiple surgeries since being rushed to the PA Hospital, and remains in a critical condition.

His left leg had to be amputated, and his right leg was also horrifically injured.

Mr Boekel also suffered a fractured pelvis and seven fractured vertebrae.

Despite the trauma, his wife said he was in good spirits.

"He's in a lot of pain," the mother-of-five said. "He's so brave - he's smiling to everyone."

She thanked the emergency services who worked to free Mr Boekel and said the staff at the PA hospital had been 'outstanding'.

"He's alive right now because of all of them," she said.

Mr Boekel is still in a critical condition, and doctors have told the family it's likely he will be hospital for at least six months.

Mrs Boekel said the experience had been horrible for the family.

"Our life has just been flipped upside down," she said. "It feels like a nightmare you just can't wake up from."

 

Rachelle and Gavin Boekel (left) with their five children
Rachelle and Gavin Boekel (left) with their five children Contributed

Mr Boekel's family has visited almost everyday since the accident, but Mrs Boekel said the long journey from Gatton to Brisbane was beginning to take it's toll.

"I've spent more time in traffic than I have with him," she said.

A GoFundMe has been started to support the family, and has already raised more than $6000.

The local community has also rallied around the family, and Mrs Boekel thanked them for their support.

"I've had ladies cooking me dinners, I've had people come and do some housework and some lawn mowing," she said.

"There's just too many to thank."

Anyone wishing to donate can do so via the link below:

https://www.gofundme.com/help-gavs-family-stay-together



Star students of the Coffs Coast - part 1

premium_icon Star students of the Coffs Coast - part 1

You may be surprised to find out just who was schooled in Coffs.

Bison killed and skinned in cruel act

premium_icon Bison killed and skinned in cruel act

Cruel act leaves livestock owners devastated.

There's movement on either end of emerging foodie strip

premium_icon There's movement on either end of emerging foodie strip

Locals are keen to see what's next along the emerging foodie strip.