Celebrated journalist Warwick Roger's last memory before his near-fatal drowning is Christmas Day - two months before the day he almost died.
Talking from his home in Devonport yesterday, the founder of Metro magazine said he did not recall anything from the day he was found floating face-down at Cheltenham Beach in Auckland.
Nor can he recall the two months before March 1.
The last memory he has is spending Christmas Day with his family in Devonport.
It was a typical Christmas Day, he recalls. He ate too much and caught up with family.
Despite his amnesia, Roger is determined to regain his strength.
"I'm not dead yet," he said stoically.
Doctors believe a drop in blood pressure caused Roger, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, to fall unconscious while swimming.
Doctors are not certain if this was as a result of his Parkinson's disease - a degenerative central nervous system disorder that affects the body's motor systems.
He was rescued by fellow beachgoers - two of them doctors - after being found face-down by his daughter in the water.
The doctors managed to revive him after about four minutes and he was conscious when he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
He spent three weeks recovering at North Shore Hospital, including time in the intensive care unit, and says he is on his way to making a slow recovery.
"I'm getting there. It's a slow business."
A keen swimmer, he hasn't been back in the water since the near-drowning, but walks around Devonport to keep fit and aid his recovery.
Roger has been hailed as an innovative journalist and an inspiration to those in the profession. His set up the Metro magazine in 1981 and completed a stint as the editor of North & South.
At the time of the incident, Roger's wife Robyn Langwell wrote on Facebook he was "well on the way to breaking the record for visitors in intensive care at North Shore Hospital".
The Kiwi Journalism Association website was also inundated with support from former colleagues at the time.
Dean Bedford said: "The journalism of Metro in the 80s was one of the most important influences on me and my journalism. It showed journalism could be fun, cheeky and tell big stories. I wish him and his family all the very best."
Others said Roger was "born to edit", an inspiration and a fighter.
Roger said he was grateful for all the support he had received.
"I'd like to thank all the people who have stayed in touch," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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