'Angels' play down part in rescue

By Katee Shanks

The family of an elderly Ohope man have paid recognition to "two angels" they say were "sent from above".

The man is now recuperating at his West End home with family after a fall three weeks ago left him in hospital until early last week.

Daniel McKenzie, 18, and 13-year-old Simon Gerritsen, are playing down their part in the events on June 18, saying they didn't do anything special. As part of fundraising efforts for the Ohope Youth Group trip to Vanuatu this month, Daniel and Simon were seeking sponsorship for their rubbish collection by knocking on doors in Westend and Ohope.

The boys say it was sheer luck one curtain of the first home they visited on their second night out was open.

"We saw an elderly gentleman lying on the floor and initially thought he could have been checking the cords on his computer as his head was quite close to the modem."

However, one or two things signalled to the boys the man needed help and, after trying the locked front door, Daniel phoned his father, Detective Jon McKenzie.

"A colleague and I gained access to the house and called an ambulance. The gentleman wasn't in a good way," Mr McKenzie said.

"The doctor who tended to the man told us if he had been left on the floor one more night, he may not have made it."

Since the man returned home, he and family members who had travelled from far and wide to help with his recovery had met Daniel and Simon.

"The family described the boys as angels," Mr McKenzie said.

- NZ Herald

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