Dying to Feed You: Beca fractured her skull in quad bike accident

Beca Glyn was herding sheep across the road on her quad bike when she had an accident. Sadly, she wasn’t wearing a helmet and the impact resulted in a serious head injury.

She recounts the day of the accident and the fallout from the head injury and urges readers to take precautions no matter how careful a rider they are.

Watch the video to hear her story and read the report below.

See also: Dying to Feed You: Rob was attacked by a cow after calving

Bike flipped

It was a stressful spring day. We had just finished TB testing and I was getting some sheep in across the road.

They went in the opposite direction to the way I wanted, so I sent the dog after them and followed on the quad bike.

We were about to start lambing, so the ewes were heavily pregnant. The dog turned the sheep and all of a sudden they were heading towards me.

I didn’t want to drive straight into them, so I turned the bike to avoid the ewes.

I can’t remember exactly what happened. But I must have turned too quickly on the road. The bike flipped over and ended up on top of me.

If I’d had a helmet on, I would probably have been fine. But I wasn’t wearing one.

I hit my head on the tarmac and was knocked unconscious. Luckily my dad was there to lift the bike off me.

I came round after about 15 minutes and I remember feeling angry that they had called for an ambulance.

Fractured skull

I thought I was fine – I didn’t want to go to hospital. I just wanted to carry on and finish the work with the sheep.

But everyone insisted that I needed help and they ended up taking me by ambulance to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

I remember arriving in hospital. I was a bit dazed. I didn’t know what day it was. They scanned my head and found I had cracked or fractured my skull.

I had also injured my neck, so they put me in a neck brace.

The doctors said I would have to take time off. We were in the middle of lambing, so I wasn’t sure about it.

I thought the doctor meant about a week off work – but he was talking about three or four months.

The head injury made me very sleepy. I didn’t go outside for a week. In the early days of my recovery, I slept a lot. But then I found I couldn’t sleep at all.

It was all or nothing – there was no balance, and you need balance to function properly.

I lost my appetite too, so I didn’t have enough energy to work. I wasn’t allowed to drive the pickup for six months. It was a long time without driving and frustrating too.

In all, it was about three years before my energy levels returned completely.

Wear a helmet

With a broken leg, you know you are going to get better in a few weeks. But a head injury is different. It drains you and you have no idea when you might get your energy back.

It took about a year before I was able to work a five-day week.

Head injuries are often invisible. I’ve talked to other people who have had similar accidents and they feel exactly the same. It’s an injury no one sees.

If you haven’t been through it, it’s hard to explain.

About a week after having the injury, I realised I couldn’t smell or taste my food. I thought it would come back, but four years later I am still waiting.

There are worse things to lose, but I’ve still lost my sense of smell and taste.

My advice is to always carry a phone – just in case something happens when you’re on your own.

Make sure someone knows if you’re going away up from the yard on your own – and what time you expect to be back.

Most farms have a quad bike. They are useful machines. But they are also dangerous – they are very easy to flip.

An accident can happen in the blink of an eye – even to a careful rider – so wear a helmet. Don’t think it won’t happen to you.

Work safely when on a quad bike

  • Make sure you are properly trained – it’s a legal requirement
  • Always wear a helmet, even for the shortest or smallest of jobs
  • Take your time and don’t be rushed
  • Put your own welfare above the job you’re doing
  • Try wherever possible to avoid lone working with a quad bike. As shown in this case, quick thinking of those nearby probably saved Beca’s life
  • Always have a means of communication to hand, such as a phone or a radio if you’re working in an area with low or no signal
  • Let someone know where you are working so they know where to find you
  • Many accidents occur because of rushing – with harvest almost upon us, please remember long hours and tiredness can have you doing things you wouldn’t normal do.

Source: Safety Revolution

Dying to Feed You

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