Dennis Davis - Malaria attacks and a foot operation

Running time
2 min 58 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I never had malaria in New Guinea but I was shopping at Mark Foy's about a week after I got home and got malaria. The last thing I knew these three soldiers…about nine o'clock in the morning. Anyway I work up in Concorde Hospital and I was supposed to have had an operation due at that time, I dropped four 25 pounder shells, these 25 pounder shells came in steel boxes about that big, you know, and they, I dropped one of these boxes on my feet but if I'd had the army boots on I would have been alright but drivers had a soft boot and, of course.

It damaged my toes a bit. It didn't disturb me too much at the time, I was on light duties for about twent-four hours or something but in New Guinea where you're sloshing about in water all the time, your feet soften up, and on the way back to Australia I had a, I went to the RAP and they said "You've got to have an operation."

So they arranged for an operation at Concorde Hospital. Well the malaria attack at Concorde Hospital was about a week before that…so when I got over the malaria, I told them about the operation and they said "We'll get that rescheduled" and I had this operation and I got malaria again while I was still in the surgical ward, so they put me down in the malaria ward again and you're sort of in a coma for two, three, four days, you know, someone got round at last and I asked the nurse there if she could change the bandages around my feet . She said, "You're here for malaria, don't worry about other things."

So I asked another nurse, same reply. Ask the Matron, same reply. Finally a doctor came around a couple of weeks later to see if I was fit for discharge and I spoke to hi about it and he pulled the blankets back and said, "Matron you better arrange for those bandages to be changed" because when the bandages were changed all my feet were a sodden mess, so they sent me back to the surgical ward and they fixed up the damage done and I got malaria again. Back to the malaria ward and the same thing happened again. I finished up, through lack of attention, I was in hospital for eleven months for a simple thing really.

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