Paraplegic Jason Thorpe didn't know how seriously injured he was after falling out of his wheelchair trying to get off a bus in Wollongong.
The 47-year-old shattered his legs in multiple places and wrecked his right thigh, knee and ankle to such an extent that his mum reckons he's now "held together by pins".
He spent a total of seven weeks in hospital, his mother Deirdre Kinghorn said.
Now her son, 47-year-old Jason, wants to find the mystery person who came to his aid that fateful night in March.
What began as a regulation ride on the No.35 bus from Wollongong to his stop in Figtree ended as a potentially life-threatening situation saved only by the intervention of two people: that mystery person and the mate who took him to hospital.
The problem arose when, Mrs Kinghorn explained, the driver allegedly failed to lower the bus and the accessibility ramp.
"Jason said due to the height of the ramp, he lost control of his wheelchair, fell out of it, and landed on both legs - hard.
He heard his bones break, Mrs Kinghorn, from Clifton Grove near Orange in the central west, said.
"I believe the person who help me back into my chair was a chap who was on the bus," Jason told the Mercury.
Having been a regular visitor to the city, Jason has fond memories of Wollongong and its accessible nature.
"I use the buses often - to Shellharbour and Dapto as well as to the beaches. This is the first time something like this has happened."
Jason, who didn't want to worry his mother, only told her of the mid-March incident after steps were being taken to transfer him to a hospital closer to home.
Mrs Kinghorn is not quite so forgiving, having been told by doctors how serious her son's injuries could have been.
"I understand he wanted to deal with it and not worry me, but ... it's not good enough, his legs are shattered.
"For paraplegics, the situation can be even more dangerous. Once I knew what was going on, I spoke to the doctor and asked how serious it was.
"She said had his friend not got him to the hospital when he did, he wouldn't have been here. He would have died."
Bus operator Premier Illawarra has told Transport for NSW they are unaware of this incident and will be investigating.
"Transport for NSW takes reports of this nature very seriously and we will be following up closely with the operator," a departmental spokesperson said.
It is understood another incident on Premier Illawarra buses in March also is still under investigation.
Then a disabled university student said her "safety was compromised" on a Gong Shuttle bus from UOW.
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