John's basking in the sun
WHEN the 11-tonne loader John Johnson was driving tipped and pinned him underneath, all he could think was "this is it” - he thought he was going to die.
Less than three months later, Mr Johnson has returned home to his beloved Chinchilla and he's simply grateful.
"We are just so thankful for the kindness and the well wishes, people have been overwhelmingly generous to us as a community and we're just so very thankful for that,” Mr Johnson said.
"The community of Chinchilla has shown us a lot of love.”
Mr Johnson was seriously injured on May 21 when the front bucket of the loader he was driving down the Warrego Hwy became unhitched and rolled the loader onto its side.
Mr Johnson was thrown from the driver's seat and pinned underneath.
"Like I said to Karen (his wife), I just woke up that morning and it was a normal day and then by quarter to 12 I was fighting for my life,” he said.
Mr Johnson surviving his extensive injuries is nothing short of a miracle.
"When I first came down and the machine started to crush me, I thought 'this is it',” he said.
"I remember the whole lot - I was pinned from just underneath my diaphragm and couldn't move at all and couldn't feel anything, the blood was cut off but I could feel the pain.
"I couldn't feel my feet but the pain in my pelvis was just horrific.”
Mr Johnson said he was only pinned under the machine for about 10 minutes but during that time he was comforted and reassured by members of the community.
"A lot of people started to gather around ... I was in that much trauma and pain, I was yelling out 'Lord help me, save me, someone help me' because I was in that much pain - it was very scary.
"There is a sense, I suppose, of facing the end, I think that's what I felt, so when I saw some familiar faces it was reassuring to think 'someone is here to help me' and when I saw faces that I knew, it was even better.
"As soon as I got out onto the stretcher, I thought 'there's some hope here' and then they must have given me some really good stuff because nine days later I woke up.”
Mr Johnson is enjoying most of his recovery time basking in the sun on the front veranda of his home and while he will have to rely on crutches and a wheelchair for a time, he is expected to be back at work within six months.
He said the best thing about being at home was "the food” and being with the people he cares about.
"All the people I see who come up and give me a hug that say 'we're just so glad that you came through, that you made it and you're home again'.”