'Moment stranger saved my life' in extreme heat
ROBERT Kelly owes his life to good Samaritans who pulled his unconscious body off the burning hot bitumen.
He can't remember much, or the people who found him, but, if they hadn't stopped to help, Robert says he wouldn't be alive.
The retiree from Glen Innes, in New South Wales, who had been visiting his daughter in Park Ridge, was returning home on December 11 last month when he was forced to detour along the Gatton-Clifton Rd as Cunninghams Gap was closed due to bushfires, something he only discovered when he reached Aratula.
The mercury hit a maximum of 39.8C that day and, in his car with no aircon - Robert was feeling the heat, even with the windows down.
"It was so freaking hot," Robert said.
He pulled up on Gatton-Clifton Rd for a toilet break and decided to drive into some shade.
This is the last vivid memory he has of the day.
"I got to there, I opened the door and tried to take off my shirt and that was the last thing I remember," he said.
"I don't even know if I fell out of the car or how I got out of the car or anything."
He has vague memories of hearing a truck horn blaring and a young man coming and asking if he needed an ambulance.
Robert was taken to Gatton Hospital where he spent three days recovering and undergoing tests.
Luckily, he was only suffered from heat exhaustion and has since made a full recovery.
Now he's turning his attention to the good Samaritans that stopped to help him on that fateful day.
Robert doesn't have the names of those who helped him, but he and his family wished to thank them for what they did.
"I was buggered and I just thought I'd like to thank the people involved - the ambos, the nurses in the hospital were all absolutely brilliant," he said.
"I would (like to) say thank you very much - you've probably saved my life and I really appreciate it.
"If there's anything I could ever do for them - all they've got to do is ask."
In hindsight, he said he should have turned back at Aratula and returned to the aircon at his daughter's house to cool off.
Robert asked for the good Samaritans to contact him via email at email@example.com.