Miracle after horror crash: A stranger saved my life
RON Berry would like the "one kind lady Samaritan" who saved his life to please get in touch.
If she hadn't stopped to take him to Lismore Base Hospital after a head-on crash in March, he would have certainly bled out and died.
Now he wants to say thank you.
The 49-year-old instrument-maker was driving to his first music lecture at Southern Cross University, travelling at 100km/hour on Cawongla Rd, when his car collided with another car around 9am on March 4.
Mr Berry doesn't quite know how - "my right foot was pretty smashed up and bleeding heavily" - but he managed to get out of his car.
"I put out my thumb up and, thankfully, a lady in a four-wheel drive stopped," he said.
"I asked her to give us a lift to the hospital and she said, 'sure, jump in'."
The middle-aged woman, with brown hair, was in the car with her daughter.
"She gave me a pillowcase to staunch the blood," Mr Berry said.
"I spent the trip with my head on the dashboard applying as much pressure to my foot as I could.
"I took one look and could see it was bad. I thought then and there, they are going to have to chop it off.
"As it turned out, I had severed an artery.
"If I'd waited another 10 minutes I would have bled out."
Mr Berry has a rare blood type and he knew "straight away" that he could not stay at the scene of the crash, or he would die.
It was a good decision.
By the time he reached the hospital his haemoglobin level was down to 30 per cent.
"At 50 per cent they do blood transfusions, at 25 per cent you are dying," he said.
"I made it just in time. The doctors cauterised the artery and stemmed the bleeding."
The road to recovery has not been easy for Mr Berry.
During his initial stay in hospital, a frame was bolted to his shattered foot to put the bones back in place.
Mr Berry was then sent to hospital on the Gold Coast where he spent a further six weeks, having endured a 16 hours of re-constructive operation.
He has since been in a wheelchair and has had follow up operations to remove pins and have skin and heel grafts.
In about a week, he begins physiotherapy, to learn to walk again.
His thoughts have since turned to the woman who stopped to pick him up.
"I want her to know, she saved my life and just thought: how would I find her?" he asked.
As a result, Mr Berry's mother, Hanne Rose, wrote a heartfelt letter to The Northern Star's sister paper, The Lismore Echo, asking "the one kind Lady Samaritan", who "without hesitation, delivered" her son to hospital, "to please contact his mum".
"I am really grateful she was there on the spot and willing to help," Mr Berry said.
"She did not hesitate. I still have visions of her daughter. Her face was white. I'd bled heavily into the car.
"I am still able to work from my wheelchair. I'm just glad I lived through it. I'm lucky I didn't break my head. It could have been a lot worse."
Mr Berry has since deferred his music degree at SCU. He is in contact with police, but is yet to find out the fate of the driver who collided with him.
- If you have any information about the stranger's identity, email firstname.lastname@example.org