Initially left for dead, the stretcher bearers changed their minds and decided he might be able to recover. He spent 4 years in hospital learning how to cope with his disability.
Alfred trained as a poultry farmer while in hospital and set up a poultry farm in Christchurch upon his return. His family remembers that Alfred had an innate sense of space; he was just as fast at catching chickens as everyone else. Although life was challenging, Alfred sometimes felt he got off lightly. To him, losing a limb would have been far worse than losing sight.