Perched in a tree overlooking the scene of the crime, Russell Goodwin eyed his 1,300-pound, four-legged opponent one last time before jumping from the leafy bushel and making his escape towards his home. The rumble of the ground meant the Brown Swiss bull wasn’t far behind, but luckily for Russell, a tall wall stood between himself and the angry animal.
It was a mid-May day in Argyle Sound, Nova Scotia, and Russell had just returned home from fishing. His wife Debbie was helping him bring hay to their cow when they noticed the bull missing from the pen.
Moments later, the bull was spotted in a nearby field, and while Russell went to retrieve the animal, Debbie returned to the house to turn off the electric fence.
“The bull kept jumping around, he wasn’t himself at all,” says Russell. “The next thing I knew, I was slammed into the ground. He came right down on me, crunching me into the grass with his forehead.”
His spirits were starting to dwindle when a stone wall, 10 feet away from where he was pinned, appeared in his fading vision. Running off of pure adrenalin and his desire to live, Russell felt himself fly over the stone wall and into the field behind it. Nervous his attacker wouldn’t be far behind, he scrambled up a tree where he could call for help.
“I had to use my left arm to get my right arm on the branch where I had enough grip to get into the tree. I think I sat there for 10 or 15 minutes before bee-lining for a second tree. And it was there that I called to my wife.”
It was when Russell arrived at Yarmouth Regional Hospital that the reality of the attack started to set in. He arrived with a broken nose, several broken ribs and vertebrae, a few torn ligaments, and a torn rotator cuff. Scans showed the good news, however: no internal bleeding. The next day he was transported to the QEII Health Sciences Centre where the damage to his crushed shoulder was assessed.
After two long surgeries and several visits to the QEII, Russell is on the road to recovery. While he may not return to fishing in the fall, he attributes his recovery to the staff at the QEII and Yarmouth Regional Hospital.
“The nurses took such good care of me. They work so hard and never make you feel like you’re bothering them. Their patience has helped me get better. I still have a way to go but the staff at the QEII helps me realize I can do it,” says Russell. “They are literally run off their feet; they are going nonstop. I don’t know how they do it… it takes a very special person. And it shows me that if they can work that hard to help me, I can work that hard to get myself back to good health.”
Thanks to the staff at the QEII and the team at Yarmouth Regional Hospital, his mobility is returning to normal. And Russell is certain of two things: he will never own another bull, and the hard work of the QEII staff inspires him to keep trying.