EXCLUSIVE: St John Ambulance paramedic Wesley Ackerman back from the brink of death

Wesley Ackerman has already spent a month on light duties with St John Ambulance at the
Belmont headquarters as part of his recovery. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au   d470453
Wesley Ackerman has already spent a month on light duties with St John Ambulance at the Belmont headquarters as part of his recovery. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d470453

PARAMEDIC Wesley Ackerman is back on the road following a remarkable recovery from critical injuries sustained when a car hit his ambulance seven months ago in Oldbury.

The crash fractured Mr Ackerman’s spine in his neck and lower back, collapsed a lung, broke his jaw and left his left leg fractured in multiple places.

It broke his right toe and tore ligaments in his shoulder.

His liver, spleen and bowel were lacerated and the urethra severed.

“The injuries were quite severe so the doctors and family expected the worst,” Mr Ackerman said.

“My parents came over; they thought I was going to die.”

Initial surgeries on the Hilbert father-of-three focused on repairing the bowel and urethra, then minor procedures were performed, including a pin in his leg.

Check-ups continued for the month he was hospitalised.

St John Ambulance organised a nanny for the family and his wife Odile visited Mr Ackerman daily.

Once discharged, he was forced twice back into hospital with complications.

“It was two steps forward and one step back,” he said.

While he remembers very little of the incident and his early recovery, Mr Ackerman quickly set his mind on getting well and active again.

“Obviously initially it’s emotional because you can’t do what you used to do, or your family is suffering,” he said.

“I’ve been eager to get back (to work) and think it’s better to be active. Now I want to strengthen my leg and get some muscle. I can walk but not run yet, and I’m aiming for full-time duties.”

Sentence pending

Walter Ten Haaf’s Nissan Navara was on the wrong side of the road when it hit the ambulance on Mundijong Road.

Ten Haaf pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm while under the influence of drugs and dangerous driving causing bodily harm over the Oldbury crash.

As part of his sentencing, the matter will next be in court July 14.