Motorists ignore sick man on road

ALL Stella Dempsey knew was the man's name was Jacob.

But while she had stopped to help the man she found lying in the middle of Berserker St at 2.30pm on Friday, other motorists had decided to drive around him.

“I went over to him and asked what was wrong and he had his hand on his chest and said, ‘having a heart attack', so then I really started to panic,” Stella said.

She said she didn't know how long he'd been lying there in pain or how many motorists had simply driven by.

“No matter if they're black, white or brindle, you should always help people, but I could just not believe that no one cared about this man, it was very upsetting to see.”

After Stella helped, others came to the man's aid.

“Two older men were helping the man and another young man was doing a great job of directing traffic,” she said.

“A young girl also stopped and called an ambulance for him; more than seven calls were made to them.”

The man, named Jacob, was believed to be in his 40s.

Stella believed the reason behind most people ignoring the man was because he was of indigenous appearance.

“I know it was because of that, because people would have thought he was just drunk, but I could not smell any alcohol on him at all,” she recalled yesterday.

As Stella and the others waited for an ambulance, she said she saw a woman of indigenous appearance walking down the street.

Stella approached her and asked did she possibly know the man by chance.

“She said, ‘Yes I do know him, his name is Jacob, he's from Woorabinda and he's a really nice man',” she said.

Stella called the Rockhampton Hospital that night to check on Jacob so she could put her mind at ease.

Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed there was a job in that vicinity on Friday about 2.30pm.

Darumbal Community Youth services CEO Margaret Hornagold said we should be grateful for people like Stella in the community.

“A lot of people wouldn't do that and we should all look out for our fellow man, but she (Stella) should be commended for that kind of compassion,” Ms Hornagold said.

Rockhampton Regional Council's councillor Tony Williams urged people in the community to help others.

“I think it's a sad day in our community when somebody is overlooked when they need help because of their race,” Cr Williams said.

“It's really concerning that people would take that kind of attitude, and it just proves that you don't judge a book by its cover.”

A spokeswoman for the Rockhampton Hospital said the man was discharged the same day and could not confirm whether he was suffering from a heart attack.



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