It was Sunday morning August 24, 2014.
I was working at home on the deck when I slipped and fell backwards with my neck taking the full impact of the fall.
Sue, my wife, was at my side within seconds. Even so, she was too late. I was gone. My eyes had rolled back in my head. I wasn’t breathing. I had no pulse. My heart had stopped.
Even though I showed no signs of life, Sue immediately started CPR. We lived on a large block, an acre in size, but fortunately it was a warm, sunny morning and people were outside working in their gardens.
Three neighbours, when they heard me fall, rushed over the fence. All were CPR trained and two of them had only finished their First Aid training a week previously.
All four took turns with the CPR until the paramedics arrived. I am told the paramedics continued with the CPR even though they couldn’t find any signs of life either.
My sons, both 17 years of age, rose to the occasion. One was on the phone to 000 relaying information between those on the deck applying CPR and the Emergency Response person at the other end of the phone.
My other son was up at the entrance of our block, waiting to signal to the ambulance so that it didn’t miss the entrance wasting valuable time trying to find us.
In the meantime, because our block was so steep and getting me to the ambulance would prove to be a very delicate operation, the CFA, the police and SES had all arrived to help out.
The Warrandyte roads are not the smoothest so the ambulance travelled slowly to the Football ground. There the emergency helicopter was ready to fly me to hospital. It took the paramedics an hour to stabilise me before I could be flown safely to the Alfred hospital across Melbourne.
Tomorrow: The life and death choice I was given in ICU
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