Evelyn Satterly thought suffering a traumatic and life-changing motorcycle injury followed by months of recovery was hard enough.
But when the grandmother of five returned to her Fryerstown home to find a shocking rat infestation five months later, insult was truly added to injury.
On Saturday 6 December, 2014, Ms Satterly took part in the Bendigo Motorcycle Toy Run on her beloved T140 Bonneville, which she purchased in 1977.
While riding on the Midland Highway through Barkers Creek, she was knocked from her motorcycle by a car turning into Blackjack Rd, which had been hit by another car. She was then rushed to Bendigo Hospital and then to Melbourne’s Alfred hospital where she spent four weeks, including four days in intensive care.
“I’ve been riding since I was 18, it something that I’ve always loved doing,” Ms Satterly said. “But I never expected this to happen.”
She suffered a list of injuries, including breaking a major section of her right femur and a de-gloving (removal of a portion of skin) from her right foot.
“My sock had actually been imbedded in my foot,” Ms Satterly said. “I’ve still got ongoing issues, such as my ankle bone not being in line.”
Following four months of treatment and rehabilitation, she returned to Fryerstown to find the house a mess with rats chewing through fly wire screen on the windows, clothes and “every piece of food they could find”.
“It was a terrible mess, I couldn’t live there,” she said. “I’ve had to stay with my daughter and when I come to Melbourne for treatment I stay with my father.
“I don’t like relying on other people, but my family has been wonderful throughout the whole process.”
“The fact that I did get the money is fantastic, it will really help me get everything back on track,” she said.
Slater and Gordon Senior Lawyer Sue Emery said the devastation of such an awful injury was compounded by the unfortunate state the house was found in. Ms Emery said it was extremely rewarding to be able to help Ms Satterly return her life to some normality.
“Her life has clearly been turned upside down and it was important that she received the compensation she was clearly entitled to,” Ms Emery said.