SHOCKING SURVIVAL: Roofer Bruce Dixon of Blackstone suffered an electric shock while working on a roof in Rosewood last week.
SHOCKING SURVIVAL: Roofer Bruce Dixon of Blackstone suffered an electric shock while working on a roof in Rosewood last week. David Nielsen

'I was dead for eight minutes'

Bruce Dixon
Bruce Dixon David Nielsen

THE roofer electrocuted while working on a Rosewood home has been described by doctors as a miracle man after defying their expectations and making a full recovery.

Bruce Dixon's heart stopped for eight minutes after a screw was drilled through a misplaced wire, electrifying the roof of the Mill St home he and his two long-time workmates were working on.

Doctors were amazed at Mr Dixon's miraculous recovery after he walked out of the PA Hospital six days after he arrived in a critical condition.

The only signs of his 30 second electric shock were some broken ribs and a scar on his right hand.

Mr Dixon recalls arriving at work, expecting a day no different to any other in his 23 years as a roofer.

"I remember going to work and that's about it," he said.

Mr Dixon, 40, was standing on the ladder and was shocked after touching the roof and gutter simultaneously.

As the shock gripped his body, Mr Dixon used all his strength to tell his mates to shut off the power.

"I felt the shock of the electricity and I said to the boys 'turn it off' and that was it," he said.

"It felt like someone had just grabbed and held me and was squeezing the life out of me. I couldn't move. I was just stuck. It was a scary feeling.

"I could hear the buzzing and rumbling through my brain.

"It is not so much painful, you can't breathe. It grabs hold of you and you can't let go."

It was the desperate acts of his workmates of nine years Daniel Sykes and Allen Willis performing CPR which saved his life.

Their efforts earned the praise of paramedics and doctors at the PA Hospital.

Mr Sykes initially thought Mr Dixon was joking as the electric current ran through his body.

But within seconds they realised it was no prank.

"He took a couple of gargled breaths and in that time he stopped breathing," he said.

Three days later Mr Dixon awoke in the PA Hospital.

"I was confused. In my head I was still at work," he said.

"I thought where am I? What's happened? One of the nurses told me that I had received an electric shock and your heart stopped and you were revived at the scene."

Mr Sykes said it was an emotional occasion when the trio were reunited for the first time since the accident.

"It was like seeing someone reborn. It was just brilliant a feeling. I was finally at ease. Up until then it was all hearsay," Mr Sykes said.

Police and Energex at the property in Rosewood where Bruce was electrocuted.
Police and Energex at the property in Rosewood where Bruce was electrocuted. Claudia Baxter

"The last time we saw him we were face to face and he was dead. We thought we lost him."

Mr Dixon's sister Brenda Ungerer said his recovery was a tremendous relief to their family.

"It has amazed everybody. Even the doctors gave him pretty much no hope at first," she said.

It is not the first time Mr Dixon has recovered from a serious work injury.

Nine years ago he suffered crushed vertebrae from a roof fall in his only other injury at work.

He thanked the staff the hospital staff and all the well-wishers since the accident.

He and his partner have three children each, and Mr Dixon has a new outlook on life.

"Don't waste any part of your life," he said.

"For something to go so wrong, everything after it went right, so to speak."

He hopes to be back at work in six weeks, and his mates are looking forward to having the survivor by their side once more.



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