Freedomroo – Gold Coast woman who broke seven ribs in horror magpie attack ‘petrified’ to leave home

Debbie Galbraith spend 13 days in hospital (pictured) after a magpie caused her to loose control of her bike

Woman who broke SEVEN ribs in horror magpie attack that left her needing surgery is now ‘petrified’ to leave home – as she calls for action to be taken against aggressive birds

  • A woman was left with seven broken ribs after magpie knocked her off her bike
  • Debbie Galbraith was cycling on a quiet street when the vicious bird attacked
  • She had to have surgery and was stuck in hospital for almost two weeks
  • The 53-year-old is now warning others to watch out during swooping season 










A ‘nature-loving’ woman has been left ‘petrified’ to go outside after a horror magpie attack left her with seven broken ribs which required surgery.

Debbie Galbraith on August 27 was cycling along Nerang St on her way to The Spit on the Gold Coast when her normally peaceful bike ride quickly turned into a nightmare.

A vicious magpie swooped down, causing her to lose control and slam into the curb with her chest and torso bearing the brunt of the impact.

A small group of locals rushed to her aid and Ms Galbraith was taken to hospital where a full body scan revealed the extent of her injuries.

Debbie Galbraith spend 13 days in hospital (pictured) after a magpie caused her to loose control of her bike

A vicious magpie swooped down causing her to lose control and slam into the curb with her chest and torso bearing the brunt of the impact

A vicious magpie swooped down causing her to lose control and slam into the curb with her chest and torso bearing the brunt of the impact

‘It was horrendous. I couldn’t move. It hurt like hell and it was hard to breathe,’ told Daily Mail Australia.

‘When I got to the hospital they detected blood on my lungs and I had to have surgery.’

She had to have six plates inserted to realign her cracked ribs spending 13 days in hospital.

A month later she’s still in agony and has to rely on ‘heavy’ pain medication just to move around.

But as well as the immense physical discomfort, emotionally it has also been a struggle for the vibrant and active 53-year-old who regularly participates in long-distance walks and bike rides to raise money for MS and brain cancer research.

The Kiwi-born elderly and disability support worker has only left her home twice in the past month to see her doctor because her street is lined with tribes of magpies.

Ms Galbraith suffered seven broken ribs

Ms Galbraith had to have a plate inserted

A small group of locals rushed to her aid and Ms Galbraith was taken to hospital where a full body scan revealed the extent of her injuries (pictured)

Galbraith on August 27 was cycling along Nerang St on her way to The Spit on the Gold Coast (pictured) when her normally peaceful bike ride quickly turned into a nightmare

Galbraith on August 27 was cycling along Nerang St on her way to The Spit on the Gold Coast (pictured) when her normally peaceful bike ride quickly turned into a nightmare

Even for a ‘tough cookie’ like Ms Galbraith, the traumatic incident has made her ‘think twice’ about stepping outside.

‘We have a lot of magpies around. My neighbour told me the other day her and her dog were swooping, so I’m very wary now,’ she admitted.

But Ms Galbraith is determined to get back on her bike in the next few weeks – once swooping season is over – and insists she doesn’t ‘have anything against magpies’.

‘I’m not some dumb old tart who doesn’t know how to ride a bike and hates birds,’ she joked.

‘I just wanted to warn people about magpie season and tell them to be cautious because they really can do a lot of damage and they are vicious.’

Magpie breeding season lasts from August to October and this is generally the period when swoop attacks are most common.

A menacing magpie is pictured watching Ms Galbraith through her back door in the weeks after she was attacked

A menacing magpie is pictured watching Ms Galbraith through her back door in the weeks after she was attacked

Ms Galbraith is seen with a large scar on her back

Ms Galbraith is seen with a large scar on her torso

Ms Galbraith suffered serious injuries and is seen with gruesome scars on her back and torso

In response to a wave of recent incidents in Southeast Queensland, local councils have begun to take measures to try and protect people from the menacing birds.

‘The council are now starting to put up signs around the place to let us know where these breeding sites are so we can stay away,’ Ms Galbraith said.

‘Which is great because if I would have known there was a magpie there I wouldn’t have ridden my bike there.’

Particularly rogue magpies, like in the case of Ms Galbraith, are even being relocated to other areas.

But Ms Galbraith is determined to get back on her bike in the next few weeks - once swooping season is over - and insists she doesn't 'have anything against magpies'

But Ms Galbraith is determined to get back on her bike in the next few weeks – once swooping season is over – and insists she doesn’t ‘have anything against magpies’

Meanwhile vigilantes are suspected of laying poison for magpies in a local park where a baby girl died in a tragic swooping incident that shocked Australia last month.

Five-month-old Mia died from a head injury after her mum Simone dropped her while being attacked by a notoriously aggressive magpie in Glindemann Park at Holland Park West in Brisbane’s southeast on August 8.

The baby girl suffered head injuries and paramedics took her to Queensland Children’s Hospital, but she couldn’t be saved.

Some fed-up locals in response have been trying to kill the park’s aggressive birds by giving them poisoned food.

HOW TO AVOID BEING SWOOPED BY A MAGPIE 

 *If you are swooped while riding, get off of your bike as many injuries are caused in falls during an attack.

*Keep an ear open for their distinctive warble

* Stay still and calm to provoke a further attack.

*Wear sunglasses and large wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and eyes.

*Face the magpie as they tend to attack from behind. Keep facing the bird as you walk out of their territory to avoid be swooped as soon as you look away.

Source: Magpie Alert 

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