Australian hiker crawled for two days with leg 'clean snapped in half' before rescue

18 September 2019, 07:33 | Updated: 18 September 2019, 18:03

A hiker says he had to "carry" his own broken leg for two days after falling six metres (20ft) down a waterfall in Australia.

Neil Parker, 54, slipped and fell while walking by himself through the bush in Mount Nebo, near Brisbane, leaving him with a broken wrist and lower leg.

After losing his phone, Mr Parker said his best chance of surviving was to make it to a clearing about two miles (3km) away, so as to be rescued by helicopter.

But it wasn't an easy journey - Mr Parker said he had to crawl for two days with "the whole bottom of my leg [hanging] loose" before getting there.

"I'd get about a metre, a metre-and-a-half, each time before I had to stop and take a break," he told reporters from his hospital bed in Brisbane.

"It was only 3km, but two days to cover 3km, I thought I was never going to get there.

"I had to carry my leg, and legs are very heavy when they're not connected to anything," he added.

The hiker, who is an experienced guide with the Brisbane Bushwalkers, said he used his hiking sticks to splint his leg, and survived by eating protein bars and lollipops which had brought with him as snacks.

"I had medication. I had painkillers - Panadol and Nurofen in my pack. And I was able to put that to great use when it was needed," the 54-year-old said.

"People in the club ask, 'Why would you carry 10 kilos of equipment every time you go for a walk?' This is the reason why. It's good to have it."

That same club organised a search party for Mr Parker, with a rescue helicopter spotting him in the clearing.

The Brisbane Bushwalkers' president, Steve Simpson, told Australian media that the region of Mount Nebo that Mr Parker was hiking in required experience and skills.

"Neil knows that area intimately," Mr Simpson told Australian radio: "He's a very competent and capable bushwalker.

"As soon as word got out that he was found and was alive there was a great feeling of celebration and relief."

Mr Parker said he was overjoyed to see his family again, adding that his accident was "the worst possible scenario" as he no way of contacting them.

"It was getting very emotional thinking - it's not a nice way to die, just laying here waiting, waiting," he said.

Mr Parker's orthopaedic surgeon Nicola Ward told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he was doing "extremely well", adding that he faced at least eight weeks of recovery.