Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Rescued by stranger after 3m fall

Lynne Marshall fell 3 metres onto rocks at Takapuna February 8 while walking with her two daughters, Mollie and Portia.
Lynne Marshall fell 3 metres onto rocks at Takapuna February 8 while walking with her two daughters, Mollie and Portia.

Eight-year-old Mollie Taylor thought her mother was going to die when she saw her lying on rocks after falling three metres and hitting her head.

But now, just over two weeks later, her mother, Lynne Marshall, has made a "remarkable recovery" thanks in part to a stranger who ran over, pulled his t-shirt off and applied pressure to the bleeding from her head.

Ms Marshall was walking towards the north end of Takapuna Beach on Auckland's North Shore on February 8 with Mollie, and her other daughter Portia, 16, when she slipped and fell.

"The last thing I remember is setting out on a walk with the girls with plans to get gelato in Takapuna at the end," she said.

"Then I have a complete blank until when I woke up in hospital to a doctor asking me if I knew where I was.

"I have know idea who ran to my aid but someone rang emergency services, that man tried to stop my bleeding, and there were other complete strangers trying to help as well.

Ms Marshall was lifted from the rocks by the Fire Service and taken by ambulance to Auckland Hospital in serious condition.

She had suffered two brain haemorrhages and a basal skull fracture. She stayed in hospital for more than a week and spent another week at a brain injury rehabilitation centre.

"My family were all really concerned. My youngest daughter thought I was going to die. She asked my eldest daughter: 'is mummy going to be okay?'

"I've read a bit about the injuries I had... People often die.

"But I'm back home now and I'm hoping I'll be able to gradually get back to work."

Ms Marshall is going to meet the fireman who helped her next week but also wants to thank the members of the public who assisted.

"I was pretty grateful for the life I had prior to this, and I'm more grateful now. I want to thank that man, and everyone else who helped; I might not be here if it wasn't for you."

Portia described the man as tall and caucasian with brown hair. "The man and a few others stayed with us until the ambulance came," she said.

"[Mollie] was hysterical. I was pretty worried but there was lots of people trying to help."

- NZ Herald

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