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#5. Wake up time.

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

There is a brief interval after I crashed and everything went black, how much time passed I cannot be sure but after going 'black' my next memory was of sitting by the highway with a packet of salt and vinegar chips.

Not sure what preceded that, or the decision that chips were important in that situation, but I knew that I wasn't dead and I must have come to the side of the highway to try and signal for some sort of help.

Guess I must have been hungry too!

Being in between Barcaldine and Longreach I wasn't overly sure I'd be able to get help. My phone had zero reception, the car was totaled and all I had was a bottle of water and a packet of salt and vinegar chips.

As chance would have it, or providence, the first car that I came upon on that very long and boring stretch of highway, hundreds of kilometers from anywhere, was a police car.

They pulled in, radioed for an ambulance, offered me some KFC and then proceeded to give me a fine for reckless driving ... not even joking.

The ambulance arrives about an hour later, she checks me over, straps a neck brace on me and with the help of the cops, gets me into the Ambulance for.

This is the first time I try morphine. Despite my protestations that I was ok (apart from a sore neck) and didn't need any pain relief she doses me up anyway.

I spend the next 16 hours in a hospital, strapped to a bed with the neck brace still on. Prior to leaving I have a panic attack as the neck brace brings on feeling of claustrophobia, they've also stopped pain relief so I go into withdrawals as well.

Eventually they give me something to calm down and the Flying Doctor service pick me up and fly me to Rockhampton airport, where I'm promptly taken to hospital.

Scans are done, wounds are checked, but in the end nothing is broken ... As I told the paramedic from the start, apart from a sore neck and some superficial wounds I was ok.

The doctor in the hospital tells me she see's lots of crashed like this, it's quite a common occurrence out in the country apparently. She also tells me that most don't survive and can't figure out why I came out basically unscathed. I tell her I closed my eyes, let go of the wheel and let what happen, happen.

She told me to go and buy a lottery ticket as soon as I got home.

They discharge me, finally removing the neck brace to my absolute joy. I book a flight back to Brisbane and my boss is there to greet me at the gate. I have to push back the tears that threaten to well up inside me, I'm still stunned but very grateful that someone came to my aid.

I get taken to my parents having endured one of the worst 24 hours I've spent in my life.

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