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At 69 years of age, Brian’s life has had its ups and downs: he’s worked as an interstate truck driver most of his life, raised four adopted children with special needs, and has dealt with some serious health issues like kidney failure. With the support of Red Cross he has been doing well the last few years, settled in Townsville. Then one morning in January, it started raining and didn’t stop.
Brian remembers the water coming up the street and a police car driving up with its lights flashing. “GO NOW,” said the officer. Brian loaded up his car with clothes and paperwork and headed to the Heatley evacuation centre. He spent four long days there.
When he was finally able to get home, he was faced with the worst possible outcome: his home has been destroyed, with water going under the doors and sewage leaked right through the place. Red Cross worker Belinda was able to retrieve some precious family photos and other items, but Brian was ultimately forced to leave Townsville, on the advice of his doctor – in the aftermath of the floods it was no longer safe for him to live there.
Brian made it to Hervey Bay, physically and mentally exhausted by what he’d been through. He made contact with the local Red Cross office who have helped him with everything from a cup of tea and biscuit when he first arrived, to organising a unit and furniture, and arranging medical support.