Snakebite victim tells of gratitude to all

Steve Burgess.
Steve Burgess. Renee Pilcher

SES volunteers supervised the last vehicle crossing of the flood-hit Calico Creek bridge last weekend - and Steve Burgess was very glad to see them.

Bitten by a brown snake at the height of local flooding near his Dagun home last Sunday, Mr Burgess credits his continued health to a huge effort by friends, community volunteers and staff at the stricken Gympie Hospital emergency ward.

With Doyle Rd washed out by an overflowing dam, he and his partner Elaine Bradley walked across Dagun Gully to meet a car driven by friends Jane Desmarchelier and Kim Crawford.

His Facebook notation, devoid of surnames, also expresses extreme gratitude to "Nigel the Ambo" who managed to creep his vehicle across Calico Creek, with the aid of two SES volunteers "who had probably turned up to close the bridge".

Soon at the hospital, he was amazed at the performance of a skeleton staff, who kept the hospital functioning despite the absence of many flood-bound colleagues.

"The Emergency Department had electrical faults, the evacuation alarm was going non-stop for three hours, the lifts had broken down and the phones were out.

"They worked long shifts and were very tired, but they were just brilliant in there," he said.

Then, ambulance paramedic Arkin Mackay, who was working double shifts during the crisis, put Ms Bradley up for the night.

"And thanks to Rob and Carol (Clark) for making the walk up over the ridge to feed the dog, check the pump and turn the gas off at our house," the Facebook note said.

"Thanks to the SES tinny crew who ferried us back across the river and to Adele (Coombes) who picked me up from Southside and drove us as far as the floodwater at Dagun.

"Thanks to Wolfgang (Schimkat) who had already been out on his tractor and made Doyle Rd passable.

"Happy to be home, grateful for (all the) good people in the world".

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks flooding floods gympie ses volunteers snake bite

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