Hot Water Bottles are Evil



Hot Water Bottles are Evil

31 August 2011 Hits:6784

A few Saturdays ago, Christie and I had an almost perfect day.  Our three daughters spent the day with friends, giving us a rare day on our own.  We made the most of it – grabbed a latte, walked along the beach, chatted about life & faith & the future, and then had a relaxing lunch together before heading home.

In the afternoon, I spent a couple of hours reading the Bible and getting ready to teach at the Saturday evening service.  My topic was “Free to be patient.”  Little did I know that my own patience was about to be tested to the limit!

The service went very well.  The congregation enthusiastically embraced the message; people committed their lives to Jesus.  I went home feeling very encouraged.  At about 11pm we headed for bed.  I have a few ways that I like to demonstrate my love for Christie.  One way is to take her a cup of tea in bed most mornings.  Another way is to make her a hot water bottle on cold Melbourne winter nights.

That Saturday night was particularly cold, so I boiled the kettle, filled the water bottle and popped it into Christie’s side of the bed.  I got into bed first while Christie was hanging some clothes.  We were talking about the kids, and I was feeling the cold more than usual, so I reached out for the hot water bottle, thinking I’d warm myself up before Christie got into bed.
The next thing I remember is the most excruciating pain on my side, back and left arm.  I went from drowsy to wide awake in less than a second.  I don’t remember getting out of bed.  I was told later that I’d probably had some assistance from residual electricity because Christie’s electric blanket was also on.  I hit the floor and tried to get my pyjamas off as quickly as possible.
By this time Christie had realised what was happening and Gigi, our eldest daughter who had heard my screams, had come into our room as well.  They got me to the shower and stood me under the cold water to try and stop the burning.  Meanwhile Christie phoned for an ambulance.  I stayed in the shower the whole time – freezing and in so much pain – but I was still able to give instructions for what needed to happen at our two church services the next morning!
Thirty minutes later the ambulance arrived and took me to the Alfred Hospital.  I passed out along the way so I don’t remember the journey at all.  That began a nine-day stay in hospital followed by recovery at home.
I’m glad to say that I am now recovering well and feeling stronger by the day.  I’ve seen a few miracles along the way – not least the fact that I don’t need to have any skin grafts.  The Alfred staff told me I was the first burns case from a hot water bottle that they knew of that didn’t need grafts.  I am so thankful for that.  I’m thankful for the amazing support I’ve had from Christie and my girls, from the amazing community of God’s people at Bayside Church, for the prayers of thousands of people around the world, and for the medical expertise of the staff at the Alfred Hospital as well as Antoinette the nurse who visited our home each day after I was discharged from hospital.
This has been a horribly traumatic experience to go through and one in which I’ve had to draw on my patience message on more than one occasion.  I never want to go through anything like this ever again.  And I’d love to prevent others from going through this as well – that’s why I’m writing this blog.
One of the staff at the hospital told me about 200 people a year are admitted to hospital because of burns received from a hot water bottle.  That’s 200 people too many – plus hundreds of people who receive burns that don’t need hospital care.  Why do we think that pouring very hot water into a perishable substance is ever a good idea?  Hot water bottles are evil.  If you have one please throw it away.  There are better options for getting warm.
One thing I am grateful for is that this happened to me and not to Christie.  If I hadn’t reached across the bed that night for the hot water bottle Christie would have been burned by it instead of me.  We have now thrown away all our hot water bottles.  I encourage you to do the same.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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10 replies on “Hot Water Bottles are Evil”

Chelsea Issasays:

Ps Rob, you are in inspiration!! What a journey the last few weeks have been. i threw my hot water bottle out as soon as i had heard what had happened, and i know you sharing your story will probably save lives and much pain for people all over the globe who read it. We love you heaps!! chelsea and chadi

Georgina and Sam Magillsays:

Ps Rob, We thank God for you and your courage under fire and love for God’s people that you were thinking about the church in such an incredibly painful time. We are on a mission with you to encourage people to throw away their hot water bottles. Your family is amazing and it is a privelege to work with you. Lots of love Georgina and Sam

Sylvester/Grace Kansumbasays:

Ps Rob,We give thanks to God who alone is able, what you went through was bad, but I guess what you have done to warn a big number of us is even more and we give God the glory for you and the thought of sharing this testimony with many not only believers.We thank God for your family we stand with you in prayer be blessed.




Such a inspiration. I had to have a skin graft a year ago the size of my back leg as I have lymphedema. Each and every day is a challenge. Thank you for giving us a reminder to be careful in all we do and dont take small things for granted.
Maybe your healing time be a miraculous one

Theo & Stefsays:

Hey Ps Rob – great to hear about your miraculous progress! We keep you & your fabulous family in our prayers daily & miss you heaps!! (Let’s be honest – there is only one person that can entertain & tell a joke like Ps Rob Buckingham….) Looking forward to hear more about your progress! Take care!
Theo & Stef

Bryan Pattersonsays:

So glad you are ok after what must have been a terrible experience. God is good.

Virginia McDonaldsays:

The next day we heard what happened, I noticed my chemist had a whole stack on the counter. I told her your story & said to get rid of them! Why do we still have them available for sale, imagine the impact of a burn like that on the elderly or a child…

The Perry Familysays:

Thank you for being a living testimony to the power of prayer. You lead our church community with such faith and integrity: you both stand in the gap for us, even when we forget to believe in miracles in our own lives. May God’s favour continue to rest upon you, Ps Christie and your daughters. Blessings, Monique and David Perry

Bev from C3 Rockinghamsays:

So glad that you are recovering Ps Rob. We prayed as a church when we received the news. God always shows up when the going gets tough. Sorry we missed you and Christie at KL, but know that we lifted you and the family up at the conference as well. We are believing for a quick recovery. God bless from Beverley and Tim Cull


To our precious Pastor Rob, Ps.Christie and gorgeous girls. What great news to hear how well you’re doing. God certianly has his hand in everything helping and teaching us. I know from personal eexperience that electric blankets are also something to use carefully. Many people leave their electric blankets on during the night not realizing that the electricity is actually going through their bodies and one side effect is draining energy from them, (not to mention the long term effects of electro magnet fields. Let me explain, when I was little I left my electric blanket on while sleeping and when my mum went to kiss my cheek before her going to bed she noticed the very fine hair on my face had risen. When mum turned off the blanket she tested my cheek again and then my skin was fine.
I don’t think that these appliances are necessarily evil but I certainly do believe we must be extra careful how we use them. For example I worked in the food industry as a cook for many years and I have experienced some truly shockers of burns and also cuts for that matter. Some of which were honest accidents and others from me needing to take extra care.
I say this Pastor Rob as encouragement to anyone who reads this as most of the time we are honestly not aware of dangers in our own home. As you can imagine hot water bottles and electric blankets are only a couple.
All our love and prayers
From the Canino Family xxxxoooo
P.S…..By the way I still use my electric blanket. I just put it on 20 min before bed time then twitch it off and even pull out the plug from the wall before hopping to bed. 🙂 >:(

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