Daughter's mission to end dad's life of pain
IT'S been 17 years since Greg Sobczak lost both his legs in a horrific underground coal mine accident in Blackwater.
It was the flick of the wrong switch by his partner that turned on the continuous miner Mr Sobczak was working in and saw the conveyor belt come through and tear off his legs.
He needed 21 bags of blood, had to be revived twice and underwent multiple surgeries to try and save what was left.
His right leg was amputated above the knee and he still has his left knee, but only just.
Despite undergoing rehab to learn to walk and even drive again, Mr Sobczak's brain has never processed the extent of his injuries and he suffers phantom pain caused by the unused nerve endings as they seek information about the missing limbs.
Mr Sobczak's daughter, Bundaberg woman Kiandra Sobczak, 20, is now hoping to raise $15,000 to send her father to Austria where Professor Hubert Egger has created a prosthetic leg capable of stimulating the feelings of a real limb.
"Watching him suffer the through the years I thought there's nothing else I can do, the least I can do is try and raise money," she said.
"It's been hard, I was only two-and-a-half when it happened.
"The adjustment from begin able to do stuff and then not being able to do stuff was very significant.
"It impacted us as a family as he was the one who would stay home and mum would go to work."
Miss Sobczak said for her father, the opportunity to lessen his pains was the biggest motivation to get to Austria.
"They come very fast and it's really, really painful," she said.
"He's gone on medication in the past year and it's getting worse."
For Mr Sobczak, who lives in Maryborough, travelling to Austria would see him assessed to find out if he's a suitable candidate for the complex procedure.
"They move the nerves up on the leg and reattach them so they're closer to the skin surface," Miss Sobczak said.
"Then they put the socket on and it links with the nerves and connects through the brain and they can move their foot and actually feel. If you're walking on grass you can feel it."
Mr Sobczak, who competed at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000 in sitting volleyball, has never sought financial help since his accident, but his daughter decided this was the best way she could help change her father's life.
Click here to make a donation at the GoFundMe page.