Goose attack breaks Horsham man’s leg

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A FORMER dentist has told how he was attacked by a goose in Cowfold and had to be rescued by the Sussex Air Ambulance and land paramedics.

Jan Pieniazek, 64, suffered an open fracture of his right leg after he lost control of his quad bike and collided with a tree on April 23.

He was set upon by the Canada goose as he collected grain from a smallholding next to his home in Cowfold.

His cries for help were eventually heard by neighbour Michelle Steward who called 999.

He said: “I went next door to pick up some grain for the chickens and I went past the lake where there are a pair of Canada geese. One of them was sitting on her eggs on the island.

“Whenever I go down there the male always flaps his wings and hisses, just being protective. On the way back I went past him again and he followed me all the way round the lake.

“Out of the blue he then landed on my head and I drove straight into a tree. I heard a big crack in my leg bone and at this point I thought I really should carry a mobile phone.

“I was in the middle of a field 200 yards from the nearest road so I screamed and screamed until a lady from a cottage down the road came to help me.”

Paramedics from nearby Horsham Ambulance Station were first on scene before the Sussex Air Ambulance arrived within ten minutes.

Pilot Nick Bramley, Dr John O’Neill and critical care paramedic Justin Carding landed in the garden of the property where the accident happened.

Dr O’Neill said: “It was quite an isolated spot and it was quite difficult to find him as he was obscured by trees.

“His tibia was protruding through the skin so we anaesthetised him, administered a strong painkiller and reduced the fracture. We then splinted his leg and made him more comfortable.

“Because his injuries were not time-critical and his condition was stable, he didn’t need any more intervention from us.”

Jan was taken by land ambulance to Worthing Hospital, where he spent the next six days before he was allowed home.

His wife Barbara returned home to find a note from friend Ian Bird telling her that her husband was in hospital.

She is a volunteer for the Sussex Air Ambulance charity, which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Jan is now on crutches and may need plastic surgery but is expected to be walking unaided within six months.

A South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) spokesman said: “We’re all really pleased to hear the patient is doing well.

“Everyone worked quickly and together as a team to ensure he was treated and kept comfortable before we transported him to hospital. We wish him all the best in his continued recovery.”

The accident happened on the couple’s 29th wedding anniversary and the mother goose has since given birth to five goslings.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ.