'My daughter found me lying in a pool of blood' – One farmer on surviving a cow attack
Livestock attack, maim and kill farmers every year in Ireland
A farmer has revealed how he was attacked and crushed against a wall by a cow trying to protect her calf.
In a dramatic movie Laois dry stock farmer Dominic Leonard has revealed how he suffered severe head injuries and nearly lost his life during the incident.
"It’s so easy to become complacent. When you do it every morning like I was doing and you never have any problems. Then you think you never will.
"And then you do and then it’s too late," he said.
Leonard’s accident happened at calving time in the beginning of March while he was doing a routine check on his cows.
Over 80% of the national suckler and dairy herds calve in the months of February, March and April and the movie has been released to remind farmers of the dangers at this time of year.
"The cows were all in the sheds. I would have gone out as normal at about 8am to check the cows.
"A cow took exception to me trying to tag the calf and basically just shoved me against the wall.
"I cracked the back of my skull on the wall.
"I somehow managed to get out of the shed and get back to the house.
Unfortunately, it was Dominic’s Daughter who he met first. She was only six at the time and witnessed an horrific scene.
"She found me lying in a pool of blood. She thought I was dead," he said.
Leonard who fell into a coma said “after that I disappeared for basically four months".
He praised his wife, who had to take over running the farm while he lay in his hospital bed.
"She had to learn how to run a farm along with running the house and children and me being in hospital. Even when I came home she had to look after me quite a lot,” he said.
Dominic highlighted the emotional damage a head injury can have on a person.
"It’s really not a good place. My emotions were all over the pace. I might burst into tears for no apparent reason. It was like that for a few months.
"I know my wife was scared to leave me on my own in the house. I lost my independence," he said.
"If I was able to go back and talk to myself before the accident I would say now is the time to install another gate and not waiting.
"Maybe you have survived a come or maybe you haven’t.
"Just to make it as safe as possible to make sure it won’t happen again. Because it could happen again, and I might not be so lucky.”
This article was first published in February 2017
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