Man looked 'well' before death in park

A Dunedin resident who walked her dog in Bayfield Park on Sunday afternoon says park users are being unfairly accused of ignoring a man who was found unconscious and died the next day.

Andersons Bay resident Trish Penman said she was walking her dog on Sunday afternoon and saw Donald Caley, walking near the changing rooms at Bayfield Park.

''He [Mr Caley] was not unconscious or in a state of stress.''

Mr Caley was found unconscious and died near the changing rooms the next morning.

Delta drainage foreman Evan Woodrow was working near where Mr Caley was found unconscious by another Delta staff member on Monday morning.

Mr Woodrow criticised any people who had used the park on Sunday and might have seen Mr Caley in an unconscious state and not checked if he needed medical attention.

Mr Woodrow's comments were unfair, Mrs Penman said.

''I found the Delta guy's words quite harsh, considering he wasn't there.

''Obviously, something happened later on in the evening but not many people are walking around that area late at night.''

Senior Constable Rob Murray, of Dunedin, said police appreciated the calls from the public to work out where Mr Caley was the days before he died.

Mr Caley was seen in the park on Saturday and information from the public suggested he was ''well'' and was interacting with people and dogs in the park, Sen Const Murray said.

A dog walker had seen Mr Caley looking well on Monday morning, an hour before he was found unconscious he said.

The death was not suspicious and had been referred to the coroner, Sen Const Murray said.

Key point is right there

The key point is right there in the article:

"A dog walker had seen Mr Caley looking well on Monday morning, an hour before he was found unconscious he said.".

Sadly, diabetics can go from lucid to comatose very quickly, and without prompt help that can be fatal.

Diabetic man looked well

That's the thing about diabetes. Mr Caley quite likely was well when Trish Penman saw him. Perhaps if she and he had got into conversation he might have been a bit "odd" or perhaps his insulin levels were still OK at that stage. Going from OK to definitely-not happens quite fast.

People who saw him looking fine, just a man in a park minding his own business, cannot be blamed. What we need though is the knowledge and courage to do "something" when we see someone who is not OK. Talk to them if they are not too scary-looking, ask other people in the park if they know the person and do they know what's up with him/her, ring the police. With a good description the police may be able to rule out known harmless street people and odd-bods who frequent the area. At worst, it's better to waste a few minutes of police time than see the rest of a person's life wasted, gone, for want of intervention.

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