Scalped: 20-hour surgery  after horror shearing shed accident

Gilgandra's Casey Barnes, recovering after losing much of her scalp in a shearing shed accident


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She was tramping down wool in a shearing shed when her hair became caught.

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More than $44,000 has been raised to help a young Gilgandra woman, Casey Barnes, 21, who lost a large part of her scalp in a shearing shed accident.

She was tramping down wool in a bale on November 29 at shearing shed near Gulargambone when her hair, which was tied back in a bun, became caught around the spinning shaft of the overhead shearing gear.

Her hair and much of her scalp were ripped off in seconds. She was taken to Gulargambone hospital for initial treatment before being driven to Dubbo and flown to Sydney’s RPA Hospital by helicopter where she underwent 20 hours of surgery in a so far unsuccessful attempt to re-attach her scalp.

Her father, Dwayne, and shearer boyfriend, Boyd Burns, were working in the shed at the time.

Boyd’s sister, Roseanne Burns, began a public appeal through GoFundMe to help Casey in what will be a long recovery period in hospital.

“I have started this page to ask for your support to help these two to make this incredibly tough time they have ahead of them a little less stressful financially,” she wrote on GoFundMe.

“The money raised will be used for accommodation, food and travel expenses while family are needing to be based at Sydney to be with our beautiful, brave, happy go lucky, giggle Casey.”

Gilgandra shearing contractor, Steve Mudford, who wasn’t present at the time of the accident, said Casey was visiting the shed and had decided to lend a hand during a busy time.

She was an experienced shed rouseabout. 

Mr Mudford believed it was time to ban the type of old-style overhead shearing gear involved in Casey’s accident.

Many sheds are now equipped with the alternative to a common overhead driveshaft - an individual overhead electric motor to power each stand.

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