It could have easily been the end for Karen Evans, such was the grave nature of the illness that struck her down.
There was a sign, a stabbing pain in her back, that something was amiss, but worse was to come.
Nevertheless, she headed home from work.
A middle-of-the-night visit to Wodonga hospital to ultimately receive a gastritis diagnosis was later followed by excruciating pain that woke the 68-year-old aged care worker.
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It was a ruptured aneurysm, causing her to repeatedly lose consciousness and that even three months later still has her dealing with the lasting physical effects.
For one, it's only weeks since both lungs collapsed. And it could take six months for her to return to full health.
READ IT HERE: Amazing story of survival linked to ambos
As she said herself on that December day into the ear of community ambulance officer Lee Marple, "I'm going to die".
Of course, she didn't.
But she certainly did some punishing hospital rounds, including a 24-hour stay in intensive care at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne.
Mrs Evans would not have been able to embark on her recovery though if it wasn't for people who do what they do in their community because that's what holds that community together.
When the aneurysm ruptured, her husband phoned Triple-0 and in quick time, paramedic Greg Kay and and community officers Andy McLean and Mr Marple arrived.
In doing so, they saved her life.
The community is right to feel proud and to want to give thanks for having these part-time emergency workers around. Mr Marple, for one, runs an engineering firm when he's not doing ambulance work.
The biggest, most meaningful thanks they could ever receive though comes from their patients.
For workers such as Mr Marple, they are simply committed to their job.
But he'll happily take the gratitude when there's such a tremendous outcome.
"I enjoy doing it," he says, "and every now and again you get a job like this that can be life-saving and it makes it cool."
We wholeheartedly agree.