“I’m just an ordinary old bloke”: Colin Ovenden was told by doctors that he’d never walk again after a serious workplace accident at 23. Picture: Lachlan Leeming

Colin Ovenden was 23-years-old, newly married and with two young daughters, when he nearly lost his life at work.

A foreman on a construction site more than 40 years ago, Colin was parking a dodgy bulldozer when the seat snapped, sending him plummeting headfirst to the ground.

In a daze, Colin couldn’t move as he was caught underneath and crushed by the slow moving tracks of the 11-tonne vehicle.

He was rushed to the Cavalry Mater Hospital in Newcastle, NSW where the prognosis was grim; among the injuries, his pelvis was broken in 47 places and three vertebrae were crushed. Worst of all, his “side was pretty much missing” because of a gaping wound across his torso.

“The doctors said the extent of the injuries was terminal, but obviously they mustn’t have been,” the 69-year-old Woodberry man smiled.

“It set…