When Steven Willdern heard screams from neighbour Dr Angela Jay’s house in early November 2016, his only instinct was to help.
Little did he know that a few moments after reacting to those screams, Steven would stumble onto a gruesome scene with Dr Jay stabbed 11 times and bleeding profusely from her wounds.
On Wednesday, June 28 Mr Willdern received an official certificate of commendation from the police local area command for his actions.
Mr Willdern admitted he still felt the effects of that November 2 day.
“It was two days after my birthday and it will be with me for a long time,” he said.
“I will never forget the day – I’m still working and everything – but it has put a hell of a hole in me.
“I’ve spoken with Angela since that day and she seems to be going fine. She actually contacted me earlier in the week and we will be catching up on Saturday.
“I suppose there is a bit of a bond between us now.”
Mr Willdern said his recollections from the night are still clear.
I will never forget the day – I’m still working and everything – but it has put a hell of a hole in me.Neighbour Steve Willdern
“Basically I heard Angela screaming and had a bit of an insight that she was in trouble or being threatened,” he said.
“So I ran to my truck and grabbed a steel bar and ran over to her place. As I got to her front door she had gotten the door open and came out.
“She obviously had been stabbed and had blood coming out of her pretty bad.
“I grabbed hold of her and got her into my garage where we got some bandages and applied pressure with them to her wounds. We applied a tourniquet to try and stop the bleeding.
“Without any first aid experience, it was all I could think to do.”
Mr Willdern said adrenaline was ‘absolutely raging’ at this point.
Emergency services were called and, during that time, Mr Willdern said he tried to keep as calm as possible.
“Angela and I tried to talk (to keep calm) and I held her hand and put my other hand on her forehead as best as I could,” he added.
Mr Willdern said the award was ‘absolutely fantastic’. His daughter also received the commendation award but was not available for the presentation.
Following the attack, which included Dr Jay being doused in petrol, Paul Lambert was shot by police.
While wanting to downplay his role, Superintendent Paul Fehon says Mr Willdern’s actions probably saved his neighbour’s life.
“You know, it could have turned out differently. Many people may have turned away and not responded to those cries for help,” Supt Fehon said.