THE so-called three-second infection rule clearly did not apply when John Macdonald, 59, dropped his beer in the Brisbane River during a fishing trip.
On March 20 last year, the pensioner was not thinking about what could possibly lurk in the waters below when he fished it back out and kept drinking.
Less than three hours later, he was violently ill with a stomach bug.
Mr Macdonald said he was prescribed antibiotics but nothing worked.
Eight days after the sip, he was admitted to Caboolture Hospital for surgery.
"I was unable to eat or drink by that stage," he said.
"My friends said I'd better get up to the hospital."
The operation was unsuccessful and he had to undergo a second one, which also failed.
Mr Macdonald said that by then, he had fallen into a coma and his family had been told he was going to die.
He was transferred to Royal Brisbane Hospital and underwent another operation. While the operation was deemed a success, he never realised the toll the failed operations had taken on his body until he woke up afterwards. He was left with a nasty-looking infection which he said was a hernia that made him look pregnant.
Mr Macdonald said he was told he would need another six operations at the Royal Brisbane.
The first was scheduled for last week but when he arrived at the hospital, he was told not enough beds were available in the intensive care unit.
He was sent home until a date yet to be scheduled.
For now, Mr Macdonald is nervously waiting. "My doctor has told me I'm a ticking time bomb - I am always in pain," he said.
Metro North Health Service interim chief executive Kerrie Mahon said all surgery involved risk which was explained to each patient before surgery.
Ms Mahon said it was not uncommon for non-life-threatening surgery to be cancelled when ICU was at capacity.
She said this was to ensure the safety of the patient post-surgery.
What would you do if your beer fell in the Brisbane River?
This poll ended on 07 June 2013.
Leave it there
Fish it out and chuck it
Wipe it with a hanky and drink up
Mate, it's beer .. you can't waste it
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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