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The Dressing Gown

Kim, VIC, Australia
April 2004

One night driving home from Phillip Island a good friend and I got talking about strange things that had happened to us over the years. I told him a handful of stories. When it came to his turn he told me a story which still brings a tear to my eye.

He was living in Sunshine next to 2 elderly people, one, the old man, was very sick. He would walk around all day wearing his red, faded dressing gown, coughing all day.
He soon passed on and his wife moved out of the house unable to live there without her husband.

After many months of the house being on the market a family brought it, unknowing that only a short time before someone had died in what was to become their sons room.

Now My friend was to become friends with this young boy and soon found out that he had very bad asthma.

One morning my friend woke up to the sounds of sirens, he jumped out of bed and ran outside to see an Ambulance pull up next door. His new friend had suffered a bad asthma attack during the night and was being rushed to hospital.

A couple of days later both my friends mother and her new neighbour were sitting in the kitchen have a coffee together when Sam (the lady from next door) asked who the man in the red gown was?. Taken aback Beth (my friends mum) didn't know what to say and asked what she was taking about?. Sam replied that although it may sound crazy, if it hadn't been for him her son would of died.

What had happened was that Sam was sound asleep when she was disturbed by someone "coughing" in her ear, thinking she was hearing things she drifted back to sleep yet the coughing was getting louder and louder. She finally turned over and opened her eyes... the coughing stopped. Unable to get back to sleep she got up made a cup of tea, and went out the front to sit on the porch. As she opened the front door there was an old man wearing a dressing gown standing on her porch. At first she was shocked but the old man explained that he must be lost. Sam felt at ease and they started chatting. After a couple of minutes or so the old man looked at her and told her he had to go because her son needed her. She turned to face the house and listened, thinking he must of heard her son calling out to her, but as she turned back he was gone.

She went inside and checked on her son, which as it turned out did need her as he had stopped breathing. On hearing this Beth told Sam about her old neighbour and how the man had died there. Beth showed Sam a photo of old Bill and as sure as the clothes on her back it was him.

Sam believes that if it hadn't been for the man that night, and more importantly the coughing, her son would have died.

Kim, VIC, Australia
00:00 / 01:04
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