Devastating crash does nothing to dampen Queenslander’s love of Cambodia

by admin on May 20th, 2019

filed under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

I had been out for dinner with a friend, we were heading home, it was a Thursday night.

We were on my motorbike, going through the little back streets of Phnom Penh towards my apartment and we got sideswiped by a black car.

The other car had no lights on, it was speeding. It sandwiched my legs between my motorbike and the bumper bar of the car and my head smashed against the bonnet of the car.

My friend was thrown off the bike, he suffered some fairly severe injuries as well.

At that point the driver hit the brakes which dislodged me from my bike and sent me flying down the road. He actually tried to run me over but I managed to crawl to the side of the road and behind a tree.

I looked down and saw that my leg had basically been amputated, it was just held on by some threads of flesh.

He took off down the road with my motorbike still under his car.

Peter Maitland moved to Cambodia in 2014 to teach at the International Primary School in Phnom Penh.

He had an enduring love of Asia after travelling to Beijing to see his brother compete in the Olympics and studying at a University in Malaysia.

While on holidays in Cambodia before moving there he met his now-fiancee Elena, and after travelling back to Australia together he was able to convince her to move there with him.

“Cambodia is a beautiful country,” he says.

“After working in south-east Asia I always wanted to live there, so when the opportunity came up to work in Cambodia I really wanted to take it.

“I just bought a big block of land that I was going to build a resort on down south on the coast. My fiancee had moved down there already to start preparing things. I was going to join her in a week.”

But all Mr Maitland’s plans changed on September 16 when the car emerged from the dark and changed his life forever.

“I was screaming and shouting and cursing and making a good old racket,” he says.

But even through the pain, he saw exactly why he loved the region so much.

“Being in my local area, I knew all the tuk tuk drivers and they took off after [the driver] for me,” he said.

“The tuk tuk drivers led the police to the car driver and they arrested him on the spot which is remarkable, that doesn’t happen very often. Cambodia doesn’t have the most effectual police department.”

It was the first of many examples of the kindness of the community he lived among in Cambodia.

Mr Maitland suffered serious injuries in the crash, including severing an artery in his leg. He lost almost half his blood on the side of the road.

When he arrived at the hospital, stocks of his blood type, A negative, were low. So he put out a call for help on Facebook.

“Within about 20 minutes of putting a Facebook message on, I had about 15 volunteers lined up at my hospital door wanting to donate their A negative blood,” he says.

“It’s times like that you realise people really care.

“These countries, they get a bad rap among a lot of people, but it’s tough times like that that bring good people together.

“In these countries there’s more good people than bad people, bad people make the headlines more often.”

Mr Maitland found people from his local community were prepared to go to great lengths to help him in any way they could.

“These are people with nothing who were prepared to give everything,” he says.

Eventually doctors in Phnom Penh acknowledged they didn’t have the expertise to treat Mr Maitland’s extensive injuries and he was flown to Bangkok for further treatment.

From there he has undergone multiple operations in an attempt to save his severely damaged leg.

“They have taken great care of me, they have been able to answer questions, do all the surgery, minimise my pain, the nurses are great,” he says.

“As it stands, my right foot, the severely injured one, I have been guaranteed I will lose my five toes and I have been pretty much assured I will lose at least half my foot.”

Remarkably, Mr Maitland is relatively upbeat about his plight.

“I used to be a lifesaver, I have played a lot of sport, I have seen some pretty gruesome things,” he says.

“I have quite a strong stomach so I don’t get too fazed by things, and I am treating it as I am alive and anything beyond that is a bonus.”

On Saturday, Mr Maitland was due to be transferred back to Australia for more treatment and the inevitable rehabilitation he will need to undergo to begin walking again.

His flight was due to leave Bangkok at midnight on Friday, getting him back to Australia just in time for a very important event in his life.

“My flight should be getting into Australia around midday and I will go straight from the plane, into an ambulance and to the hospital,” he says.

“There I hope to find a television which is playing the AFL grand final, and if I can’t I will be taking a doctor and a nurse across the road to the pub to watch it.”

Despite his ordeal, Mr Maitland hopes one day to return to Cambodia and he hopes his story doesn’t frighten people off visiting.

“People shouldn’t be scared off by stories like this,” he says.

“My story is horrible, I’m not trying to dodge that.

“But I don’t think I would have got the support from the community in Australia as I received in Cambodia.”

Friends have set up a fundraising page for Mr Maitland to assist with his ongoing medical expenses and rehabilitation costs.

Contributions can be made through 苏州美甲美睫培训学校mycause苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.

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