Telford Rural Polytechnic student Matthew Scally (18)
recovers in Dunedin Hospital after landing on a burning
couch in Hyde St on Friday night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Midway through jumping over a burning couch on Friday
night, Matthew Scally had a horrible thought.
"I'm not going to make it."
Mr Scally said he remembers his foot catching on the couch
and falling towards the flames.
The next few minutes were a blur as he rushed around Hyde St
looking for a garden hose to alleviate the excruciating pain.
Then some students came to his aid.
Mr Scally said the Hyde St residents took him into their flat
and sat him under a cold shower for 20 minutes while he
waited for an ambulance.
"I don't know who they are . . . but I am very grateful."
Yesterday, not long out of surgery to remove dead skin from
his left arm, Mr Scally said from his bed at Dunedin Hospital
he planned to thank the students when he recovered from his
injuries, which could be several weeks.
Doctors told him without their quick thinking his injuries
would have been much worse.
He may still require skin grafts.
The heat from his burns were a constant reminder of his
injury, but Mr Scally said he hoped any scarring would be
limited to his left arm, which bore the impact of his fall on
to the couch.
A student at Telford Rural Polytechnic, he said he had
travelled from Balclutha specifically to be part of the Undie
500 weekend in Dunedin, which he had heard "was a fun time".
He also hoped to meet friends who had travelled from his
hometown of Christchurch for the event, but instead of
meeting in the student area, they visited him in hospital.
Mr Scally said he did not know what made him jump over the
couch, but regretted his decision.
"It was pretty stupid."
A sentiment echoed by his mother, Sue.
"What can you say." she said.