Farm accident leaves woman permanently disfigured

Emily Landsberg is raising awareness for Farm Safety Week after having her ankle shattered while on a farm.
Emily Landsberg is raising awareness for Farm Safety Week after having her ankle shattered while on a farm.

EMILY Landsberg was helping out on her boyfriend's farm when her ankle shattered, changing her life.

The 18-year-old was used to working on farms, having grown up on one herself but it was a spilt second accident that left her permanently disfigured.

She was handling young horses when a loud noise spooked the horse she was with. It kicked her in the ankle, almost completely disconnecting her foot from her leg.

Ms Landsberg was on a remote property and it took the rescue helicopter more than an hour to reach her.

By then her foot was dying and she was flown to hospital to be operated on.

Since then she has had six surgeries to her ankle over a two-year period, costing her tens of thousands of dollars and now walks with a permanent limp.

She still has ongoing pain and due to the degeneration of the muscles in her leg and might have to consider an amputation.

"It was such a huge shock. It turned my life upside down. My priorities all of sudden changed to thinking about how I'd be spending my weekends to the having to learn how to walk again," she said.

"It became a huge strain on my life. It strains my relationships, my social life and work. Everything gets thrown into the air.

"Instead of healing it is just getting worse and the bone around my ankle joint is starting to die off because it is too badly damaged.

"The operation I had at the beginning of the year was supposed to last me 10 years but my leg hasn't taken to it as well as doctor's thought it would so I just have to see how it goes and keep seeing specialists."

Emily Landsberg's ankle after it was shattered.
Emily Landsberg's ankle after it was shattered.

Ms Landsberg wants to share her story to raise awareness for National Farm Safety Week this week.

Promoting farm safety and reducing preventable work accidents on farms in Queensland is a key priority, with nine fatalities already in 2016 in Queensland, as well as many serious injuries nationally.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers office leader Bianca O'Neill said National Farm Safety Week was an important annual reminder for all farmers and employees to make workplace safety a priority.

"Many people working in farming have to regularly manage or use large equipment such as tractors and quad bikes," she said.

"They also work in unpredictable environments including working with animals or in isolated areas, so it's important that the proper training and safety procedures are in place to protect people."

Ms Landsberg has now had to move more than 12 hours from her family to work in an administrative role in New South Wales to help her pay the bills.

Her injury has severely impacted her social life as she suffers anxiety about going out should she be unable to physically navigate where she's going.

"It just completely turned my world upside down and I want to stop this happening to other people," she said.


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