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Nasty bike crash sends Paul flying to Frankston Hospital

After more than five hours cycling from Dromana to Frankston and back again, Paul Balchin was just a few kilometres from his car when disaster struck.

“I was riding along in the bike lane on a beautiful smooth piece of bitumen and then all of a sudden the good surface finished and it turned into gravel potholes,” recalls the Rosebud resident.

“When I hit that it threw me off the bike. I landed on my artificial hip which I’d had replaced three years ago.”

Paul was rushed to Rosebud Hospital and then up to Frankston Hospital where they discovered the extent of the damage.

Not only had his fall damaged his artificial, metal hip but his femur was also badly broken.

“I initially thought it was just a corky on the muscle, I didn’t think it was broken,” says Paul.

“I had CT scans and X-Rays done. Then the surgeons decided that they had to replace the bottom half of the prosthetic hip and pin my femur. It was a five hour operation.”

The accident is a big blow to Paul – he is due to fly to England to visit his family in less than three weeks’ time. He is also an avid bike rider and cycling is a big part of his life.

“I’m a bit more than just keen about bike riding. It’s taken over my life for the last 10 years,” explains Paul.

“I won the state title for my age when I was 62. I have also competed in World Titles, riding 100kms in South Africa and Perth.”

The operation was a success and Paul can partially weight bear on his new hip and damaged leg.

He’s now recovering at home, with a Peninsula Health physiotherapist visiting to help him with his rehabilitation. 

Paul doesn’t yet know whether he will be able to go on his holiday, or if he will ever be able to ride again.

“That’s the million dollar question. The surgeon said the more surgery I have on my hip, the more complicated it gets,” says Paul. 

“In the end the decision will be up to me. It’s a big thing to take out of your life when you’ve been doing it for so long.”

Paul is no stranger to Peninsula Health – a Patient Services Assistant at Rosebud Hospital – he is used to being one of the people looking after others. He has nothing but praise for the staff that cared for him over the week he spent in hospital.

“The care has been good and all the nurses are great.”

Healthy Bones







Jessica Mills