Shannon Taylor in Dunedin Hospital yesterday. Photo by
A severely burnt Dunedin man wants to thank those who
helped him as his skin melted.
Shannon Taylor (22), of Port Chalmers, was in the back yard
of a friend's house in Port Chalmers, working underneath a
Ford Falcon station wagon with the ignition on.
He said he had incorrectly wired the fuel pump, which caused
a spark, ignited fumes and created a ''flame ball'' at the
rear of the car and he had caught fire.
''I rolled out and I ran up and down the path trying to put
The screams of his friend's girlfriend alerted two people to
act and ''save my life''.
After hearing the screams, Port Chalmers Pool supervisor
Lyndon Johnston emptied a fire extinguisher on the station
wagon and a neighbour, Tracey Loach, put Mr Taylor in a cold
He had severe burns and nerve damage to the left side of his
body but the cold shower stopped more skin melting.
''It could have been a lot worse. I could have lost a lot
The second-degree burns had left no skin on his left arm and
hand, which could be permanently damaged and require skin
grafts, he said.
''I can barely sit up or walk. I can't do anything.''
In hospital, he was woken by nightmares of ''flashbacks of
He had fallen out of bed three times yesterday attempting to
walk and lacked the energy to attend a meeting with his
pregnant partner and midwife.
Mr Taylor hoped to be discharged from hospital for the birth
of his second child in 10 weeks.
He was philosophical about the ''freak accident''.
''I would have done things differently but you can't turn
back time and what's happened has happened and there will be
a lot of recovery.''