A TOUGH nut to crack, Swanfels local Chris Nielsen survived 13 hours pinned by a tractor on one of the coldest weekends this year and is now on the mend.
Despite the fact he is still being treated for leg injuries the 61-year-old is in relatively good spirits after the ordeal.
"I'm all right. I will be able to annoy people a little while longer," he laughed.
On the first Saturday of May, Mr Nielsen headed out to do a bit of work on his tractor and disaster struck.
While Mr Nielsen was opening a gate the parked tractor rolled down the hill, crushing him between the fence post and the wheel.
"I didn't put the brakes down properly and it rolled towards me," he said.
The alarm wasn't raised until after dark when Mr Nielsen's family noticed he still hadn't returned home.
Family, police and 10 Swanfels locals searched the property by torchlight.
Mr Nielsen said he worked through the excruciating hours moment by moment.
"I was there for 13-and-a-half hours. I watched the minutes pass," he said.
In pain, unable to move and freezing, Mr Nielsen said he was exhausted when help finally arrived.
"By that stage I thought thank god someone's come," he said.
Mr Nielsen is expected to be released later this week after his four-week stint in the Toowoomba Hospital.
During his time there Mr Nielsen has undergone seven different operations in an attempt to repair the damage to his legs.
The Swanfels larrikin even hopes to claim "frequent surgery points".
"I just want to thank the neighbours that looked for me, the police and the ambulance," he said.
"The doctors and nurses have also been wonderful putting up with me.
"I'm okay but I won't be able to walk the same for a while".
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