Warrnambool's Allan Gellert says it's a miracle he is still alive after a fall that sent him "diving" head-first off the back of a truck onto the gravel.
The fall broke two vertebrae at the top of his spine and has left him in a neck brace day and night for the last seven-and-a-half weeks.
"I believe God was looking after him that day because he should be dead," his wife Barb said.
"I think God was definitely there with him."
Allan was on the back of a truck when he suspects he tripped.
The doctors have another theory, but Mr Gellert is not so sure.
They think his atrial fibrillation - an uneven pulse rate he has had since he was a kid - may have been behind the fall.
"They thought maybe I fainted but I doubt it because I didn't feel dizzy beforehand that I could remember. I probably tripped over some hoses on a trailer," he said.
No one saw how it happened but his son, Marcus, saw how he landed.
"It looked like I'd dived off the trailer and landed about two-and-a-half metres out on the gravel on my head," Mr Gellert said.
Mrs Gellert said it looked like he was "diving into a swimming pool, except he was diving onto gravel".
"He had a great big gash on his head where he landed. That's obviously what broke the vertebrae -the C1 and C2," she said.
"If you break the spinal column there, there is no quadriplegia there. It's just death. The GP said: 'You're bloody lucky to be alive Allan'." That's how serious it was, she said.
Mr Gellert was taken to hospital, but at no point did he suspect the injury was that bad.
"Obviously I was concussed because I was asking the same questions heaps of times," he said.
"I didn't feel a lot of pain but my neck was sore and I just sat there staring straight ahead. I didn't think of a broken neck."
Mr Gellert also cracked the radial bone right near the elbow and injured his wrist in the fall.
He was flown to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne where he stayed for a week and a half.
Mr Gellert said it had been three years since they lost one of their son's, Shane, to melanoma.
"You keep thinking why is it that I'm here and he's not," he said. "You just think, God must have a purpose, I just don't know what it is."
The fall was his second close call in as many years after last year having to have a five-way heart bypass.
After feeling tightness in his chest, he went to the doctor and they found he had 10 blockages.
"I didn't have a lot of symptoms, just a bit short of breath and not as energetic as I used to be," he said.
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