Big Brother

Big Brother's Farmer Dave believed in "getting back on the horse" until his parachuting accident

It was a long and isolating recovery.

By Catie Powers
From the moment he entered the Big Brother house in 2006, Farmer Dave captivated not only his fellow housemates, but viewers at home, ending the season in third place.
So beloved was the star that it's really no surprise Channel Seven asked him to return for the 2022 Big Brother: Royalty Vs New Contenders season.
But in between his two reality TV stints, the farmer underwent a life changing ordeal.
Farmer Dave has always been a Big Brother favourite. (Image: Seven)
Just four years after his initial stay in the Big Brother house, Dave was hospitalised after a parachuting crash-landing in Brisbane.
While training to join the First 24 Hour Foundation's rescue team, Dave was performing his second 900m jump when the accident occurred. He broke his left leg and hand, several bones in his left ankle, and required the ligaments and tendons to be reattached with screws.
"I'm one of those people who believes in getting back on the horse, but after the surgery I'm going to spend some time thinking about whether I want to jump out of a plane again," he told Confidential following the accident.
"I just keep flashing back to those seconds before I hit the ground and then when I did," he continued.
"I don't know what happens next – I had so much going on and so much to do, and I'm only just getting my head around what has happened."
Dave broke his left hand and leg following the accident. (Image: YouTube)
Following his surgery, Dave was left bedridden as he was unable to walk for a period of time. He was provided temporary relief with pain medication, but rarely slept more than a few hours a day.
The timing of the accident meant that the farmer was isolated for the Christmas of 2010, stuck in Brisbane until he was well enough to head back to Sydney.
"I'm stuck here, in these four walls, it's driving me crazy," he admitted during a YouTube vlog amid his recovery, where he donned casts on his arm and leg.
The Big Brother alum explained that the Brisbane weather grew unbearable as the heat built up in his leg, even forcing him to remove the cast at times.
"Luckily my surgeon has given me some really good pain relief," Dave said. "I'm just hanging out for when I can get on a plane and head back to Sydney where it's cooler."
Second only to the pain was the loneliness, but luckily his mates were there for him during his recovery.
"I do have a lot of mates that come over," he assured viewers, before confessing he alienated himself at times. "The days that you feel really down you tell people not to come over… you don't want people to see you in a bad state.
"I think one of the worst things about this experience is feeling hopeless and feeling like you can't do anything, and to a large extent I can't."
Dave has never jumped out of a plane since.
Dave came out as gay to his fellow housemates and the nation during his 2006 stint on Big Brother. (Image: Ten)
During his initial stint on Big Brother, Dave created one of the most memorable moments in Australian reality TV history when he came out as gay to his fellow housemates and the nation.
"I kind of came into the house thinking that this bit you don't know about me is quite small," the dog trainer told his fellow contestants. "But I've realised that it permeates every part of myself, so every conversation I've had with you has been really hard and I've held back.
"I wanted you guys to get to know me at face value as someone who I am, just a normal guy," he continued.
"I'm the token farmer and the token gay guy," he finished his speech, to much support from his fellow housemates.

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