Man found alive after eight days on the side of a road
COLD, alone and confused Alan Ellsworth lay by a remote roadside not knowing if he would survive.
The 74-year-old Gayndah man was last seen on May 12.
Police held concerns for his wellbeing as he suffers from a number of medical conditions and relies on a mobility scooter to get around.
Incredibly, Mr Ellsworth was found yesterday afternoon, about 4.30pm, underneath a tree on Crooked Creek Rd at Deep Creek by a Gayndah couple on a leisurely, afternoon drive.
"They recognised the vehicle from all the media reports and conducted a quick search and found him underneath a tree," Gayndah police officer in charge Sergeant Josh Ryan said.
"They contacted emergency services and stayed with him until they arrived."
Sgt Ryan said Mr Ellsworth has told police that he was out in the open for eight days.
"He suffers from a number of medical conditions and has been without medications so we can't take his word as gospel," Sgt Ryan.
"He may have stayed in the car for a few days and then decided to walk, it's hard to say how long he has been out in the open for."
Sgt Ryan believes Mr Ellsworth may have has been out in the open for at least a couple of days.
"If it has been those eight days then that is remarkable," he said.
Police are still trying to piece together what happened leading up to the incident and how he survived, but Sgt Ryan said they may never know the full story.
He said initial investigations showed Mr Ellsworth's gold coloured 1998 Ford Falcon station wagon got bogged up to its exhaust.
"He had no phone but realised he needed help and decided to walk," Sgt Ryan said.
"About 1500m from that location he has collapsed and fallen."
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations manager Martin Kelly said at some stage during his ordeal Mr Ellsworth had suffered a stroke.
"We stabilised him and he was severely dehydrated as you would imagine," Mr Kelly said.
"He was hypothermic and suffering from exposure."
Mr Kelly said when Mr Ellsworth was found he was confused, dehydrated and cold but was clever enough to get up to the road, which probably saved his life.
Mr Ellsworth was taken to Gayndah Hospital before being airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital.
He remains in a stable condition but still under observation.
Sgt Ryan said Crooked Creek Rd was not a well-travelled area and Mr Ellsworth was lucky to have been found.
"He had no water and no food," he said.
"If they hadn't have come across him, it may have changed the outcome completely."
Sgt Ryan said that Mr Ellsworth's family had been notified and he thanked the media and the public for their diligence.