RONALD Anderson was having open heart surgery at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane the day Cyclone Marcia tore through his home town of Yeppoon.

Three days later he was rushed back into surgery to have a pacemaker fitted after his heart stopped beating.

His guardian angels were watching over him then and they came calling again at the weekend in the shape of volunteers ready to clean up his Caroline St property which was littered with trees felled by Marcia's fury.

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Ronald and wife Pauline were among a number of residents given a helping hand through Lend-A-Hand Day, organised by the Livingstone Shire Council in partnership with Volunteering Australia.

The Andersons were overwhelmed by the gesture and couldn't thank the volunteers enough.

"The guardian angels have come today and taken a good 90% of the trees away," Ronald said on Saturday.

"We are very lucky that these people came and did this for us, and we are very grateful.

"It will be another three months before I can do anything and Pauline had a heart attack last year and can't do any heavy lifting."

Ronald, 78, said he and Pauline prepared their house "as best they could" leading into the cyclone.

They had to be in Brisbane on February 18; Marcia hit on February 20.

Ronald was released from hospital on March 1, and he and Pauline returned to see first-hand the devastation done by Marcia.

Their house was not damaged, bar a few leaks in the roof. Their garden shed was destroyed but the main issue was the number of trees flung into their yard.

"We don't have any trees in our yard but we had about 10 tonne of them after the cyclone," Ronald said.

"The neighbours said the wind was snapping trees like they were match sticks.

"Our street was like a war zone, they reckon. You couldn't drive down it because there were so many trees down and all the power lines were down. One house lost its roof."

Ronald said the next-door neighbours and his daughter Lisa and her husband Cameron had cleared the driveway and cut up a lot of the fallen trees ready for removal.

"We've had so much help," Ronald said. "When crisis happens, people are very good at helping out."



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