A dedicated wife has has maintained an unflagging bedside vigil for her man who was almost killed after he fell six to seven metres in a horror tree-lopping accident.
John Betteridge was lending a hand to a mate at Alligator Creek south of Mackay in Queensland last month when a boom lift he was in tipped over – tossing him down to the ground.
His wife of 12 years Cid has remained at his side at Townsville Hospital as he slowly recovers and although he awoke from a coma, he still struggles to recognise her and his family.
The man suffered horrific injuries from the fall including collapsed lungs, broken ribs, jaw, nose, arm, elbow and femur.
He also had bruising on the brain and fractured his eye sockets – while needing surgery on his bowel which was punctured multiple times.
John Betteridge (pictured, with his wife Cid) was lending a hand to a mate at Alligator Creek south of Mackay in Queensland last month when he had the terrible accident
The ‘generous and loving’ man suffered horrific injuries from the fall including collapsed lungs and broken ribs, jaw, nose, arm, elbow and femur (pictured, Mr Betteridge in hospital)
‘He had blood everywhere, he was just unrecognisable,’ Ms Betteridge told News Corp.
‘When I saw him I was just in shock, I didn’t have a thought, it was just heartbreaking.’
Mr Betteridge was six to seven metres high in the air on a cherrypicker when it became unbalanced at his friend’s property on May 5.
He either jumped out of the bucket or was thrown into the air as the vehicle keeled over – and he narrowly missed cattle grids and steel steps when he fell to the ground.
His step daughter Elina Garyfallidis who set up a GoFundMe page to help with the couple’s bills and expenses during this time said he must have had angels looking out for him.
‘He went into cardiac arrest when the ambulance arrived!’ she said on the crowdfunding page.
Mr Betteridge was in ICU for weeks after he was flown to Townsville Hospital in a coma and later struggled to recognise his family.
His wife said: ’35 days later, he’s still got no idea who we are but he’s awake from the coma … he has a brain damage called diffuse axonal injury.’
Mr Betteridge has undergone severe medical treatment which included draining out fluid and inflating his lungs via tubes and slicing a hole in his throat to help him breathe.
Doctors also drilled a hole into his skull to measure the swelling in the brain and put a nail into his femur to pin it back together.
A plate was inserted into his elbow to connect the fragments of bone as well.
One of his hands had recovered its mobility but he then suffered gas build-up as his brain tried to connect with his muscles.
Ms Betteridge said her husband’s brain needed to heal first before all the other parts can get better – adding he was continuously in pain.
She said it breaks her heart she can’t do more but has stayed by his side doing what she can – including wiping his brow and washing his hair while nurses bathed him.
The mother said most of time he ‘is not there’ and is just staring into space but added her husband was ‘a fighter, a hard worker, a healer’.
She has been praying and hoping for him to ‘come back’ and is grateful that he survived such an awful accident.
He has recognised his wife once since the accident when he was taken outside – where he ‘puckered up’ to kiss her.
Ms Betteridge (pictured, with John) said most of time he ‘is not there’ and is just staring into space but added her husband was ‘a fighter, a hard worker, a healer’
Other family members have visited him in hospital including his parents Rob and Barb who have been giving him foot massages and telling jokes.
Ms Garyfallidis said her step dad is generous and loving and would always go out of his way to help others.
‘John is responding well to treatment so far and is fighting hard. It’s not his time yet; he always says he’s going to live to be 108!’ she said.
The GoFundMe page has smashed its original $15,000 goal and had hit $25,406 on Saturday.
Ms Betteridge said she was ‘so deeply touched at everyone’s generosity’.
‘I don’t know what expenses lay ahead of us in the next months or years or what the road ahead will be – but this GoFundMe money will certainly help us in John’s road to recovery.’