Blessing in disguise horror crash ends up a life-saver
COFFS Harbour truck driver Gino Feltrin wakes every morning thankful for the day he had a horrific motorcycle crash in Central Queensland.
That's because the crash not only saved his life, but that of another Australian as well.
The 52-year-old adventurer was on a group motorbike journey to the Gulf of Carpentaria in September last year.
Travelling on a remote dirt road outside of Clermont, a kangaroo jumped across the road, forcing him to swerve.
An emergency beacon activated by his travelling companions sent word to the authorities that he was in desperate need of help. The RACQ-CQ Rescue helicopter was dispatched from Mackay.
"I knew I was in good hands when they touched down," Gino said, retelling his story in the latest edition of The Road Ahead magazine.
"It wasn't until we got to hospital that I realised I had two broken ribs, five cracked ribs, three fractured discs in my spine, and a partially collapsed lung.
"But they also found a strange shadow on my kidneys. Further scans revealed I had stage four kidney cancer. I'd had no idea before then that I was seriously ill.
"I would have not known until it would have been too late."
Returning to his home in Coffs Harbour, doctors offered him a rare treatment opportunity that would not only cure his cancer, but also save the life of another person.
They would remove his kidney, cut out the cancer, and then transplant the partial kidney to another patient waiting for an organ donation.
"The doctors told me you only need 25% of one kidney to stay alive. So I was said 'yep, sign me up'," Gino said.
"About three weeks ago I got a letter from the transplant team and the person who received my kidney is now off dialysis, out of hospital and living a relatively normal life.
"It's a story I tell with pride.
"Every day above ground is a blessing.
"I tell a lot of people how important the helicopter service is.
"I'm more than grateful for the service that they provide. I wouldn't be here without them."
In February, Gino was given the all clear by his oncology specialists - he is officially cancer-free.