IT WAS meant to be a Friday night catch-up drink with an old friend, but ended in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital a few hours later.
Fireman Dan Murphy and Brooke Dewberry, 42, were sitting enjoying a drink at the bottom of a flight of stairs in Tamworth’s Good Companions Hotel when, about 10pm, a lounge was thrown from the second level and landed on top of them.
Brooke took the brunt of the weight.
However, Dan’s emergency training kicked in, and he immediately set about administering first-aid.
His first thought, he said, was for her head and neck, which he stabilised as they waited for paramedics.
Brooke remained conscious and, after being taken to Tamworth hospital, was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital, where yesterday she was in a stable condition but still in considerable pain, according to her friend.
When The Leader spoke to Dan yesterday he was in Newcastle with her, having driven down after she was transferred.
He said they’d only just got to the hotel when the incident happened and were there “for a quiet catch-up drink”, because Brooke had only moved back to Tamworth a few weeks before.
Brooke, who is studying teaching, is expected to remain in hospital for at least a few more days.
Dan said when the lounge fell it sounded like “a bomb had gone off”.
“It was a massive shock,” he said.
“It’s just something you don’t ever expect to happen.”
A friend on social media, echoing the wider community shocked by such a bizarre and freakish accident, told Ms Dewberry yesterday it “was a hell of way to get famous”.
Dan, who is also a country music singer and regularly appears at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, was based at Tamworth Fire Station earlier in the year but is now back home working at Wentworthville in Sydney.
He said it was a station where officers dealt with a lot of trauma cases and he was glad of his training and experience on Friday night when it was needed.
He was full of praise yesterday for The Goodies’ staff and the help they gave Brooke.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them, they were excellent,” he said.