A special reunion

“I was riding along the Darebin Creek Trail with my husband and friends, when suddenly I wobbled off the path and fell off my bike,” says former Austin Health employee of 18-years, Barbara Hilling.

 As fate would have it, Austin Health theatre nurse Peter Martin was there to help.

“I was with my partner and we were walking our dogs, when we saw Barb go straight down on her hip. I went over and told them that I’m a theatre nurse from Austin Health,” says Peter.

Peter then sent Barb’s husband to check the location marker, which is a sign with a number on it which helps emergency services know where you are.

“I assessed her and called for an ambulance.”

Peter explains that when Barb tried to move, he quickly realised she was in a ‘broken bone’ level of pain. 

“So I kept her still, and made sure that those riding down the path could see us.

“I also kept talking to Barb to make sure she was distracted. We chatted about my two chihuahuas and how we’ve both worked at Austin, right up until the ambos arrived," says Peter. 

Barb was then rushed to Austin Hospital, scans showed that she had sustained a break in the top of her femur.

“A few days later I was at the surgery centre at Repat having a hip replacement,” says Barb.

“Everyone was just so wonderful, I want to thank all the staff who looked after me. I also wanted to say a big thanks to Peter, I’m just so grateful for everything he did that day.”

Barb is now going through rehabilitation at Austin Health and is making great progress.

“I can walk without crutches, but when I get tired, I use them a bit,” she says.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Barb and Peter couldn’t catch up face-to-face but instead had a special reunion online.

They chatted about Barb’s fall, Peter’s chihuahuas, how Barb is doing with rehab and the places they hope to visit once COVID-19 restrictions lift. 

“It’s just so lovely to see you again Peter,” says Barb.

 “It’s great to see you, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing so well,” says Peter.