One minute Stephen was happily trimming grass around some native bush, the next, a huge swarm of wasps filled the air. He was stung over and over on his legs, and when he glanced down at the lower part of his body, it was covered in wasps.
In that moment of shock, Stephen decided to drive the 5km back to his house. He had been stung by wasps before so was not expecting an adverse reaction, but he was keen to get home and treat the stings on his legs. He described the sensation of starting to feel woozy, and as he got closer to home, it started to feel like an out-of-body experience. He drove on knowing he was close to home, but as he continued down the hill and onto the bridge, he lost consciousness. Fortunately for Stephen, despite hitting the side of the bridge, his truck did not go over the side and into the water.
Stephen acknowledges how lucky he was that his neighbour heard the crash and came running out to help. He found Stephen unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel. Fortunately, Stephen’s neighbour had some experience in first aid training. He alerted emergency services before extricating Stephen from the vehicle, laying him on the bridge and placing him in the recovery position.
Some things turn out to be just good luck; Stephen’s truck did not tip over the side of the bridge and plunge into the water below, and more importantly his neighbour happened to hear the crash.
After his ordeal, Stephen wanted to “pay it forward” and gave $5,000 to support a mission; he knows what it felt like to be lying there desperately waiting for help; and could not describe in words the relief he felt when he knew he was going to be okay. He also wanted to acknowledge the actions of first responders from Cheviot St John and the Cheviot Fire Brigade, who provided care and assistance prior to the Rescue Helicopter’s arrival.