SPRING 2009 RACQ CareFlight CareFlight Doctor’s emergency surgery saves Motorcross hero “This case presented a major clinical challenge for us. The patient was having difficulty breathing because of his crushed wind pipe, so we had to perform a tracheotomy, by inserting a tube into the wind pipe that allows for the intake of air. Next we needed to urgently remove the blood from the patient’s punctured lungs. We did this by inserting tubes into the lungs and draining the blood. Luckily, both of these procedures were successful and we were able to transport the patient to Brisbane for specialist care,” Dr Cheeseman said. As Doctor Cheeseman worked tirelessly to keep Jeff alive, Nic did his best to say calm and assist the medical team to stabilise his father. “I held Dad’s arms down while the doctor was doing the lung drain. I tried to make Former professional motorcross rider Jeff Still was performing him as comfortable as Jeff with his childre a jump he’d done a thousand times before on his bike at the possible by taking his n, Nic and Alyx Cooyah Motorcross Park, but on that particular day, the jump boots and his helmet would prove to have dire consequences. off. He started breathing a lot better when his helmet was off. As 45 year old Jeff landed, he crashed his bike into the ground, “Dad was drifting in and out of consciousness. I could tell that sustaining life threatening injuries including a crushed wind he knew that it was pretty bad. I heard the pipe, severely damaged lungs and a punctured doctor say that his injuries could be fatal, bladder. He broke his pelvis, both shoulder Without CareFlight, so that was pretty scary,” Nic said. blades, and every rib in multiple places. Jeff I would have had to bury him. Donna Carlson, Jeff’s ex-wife and mother also suffered a fractured right eye socket, broken of his two children says when Nic rang to right cheekbone and kidney failure as a result of That is unthinkable. tell her Jeff had been hurt, it was the phone the accident. call she’d been waiting for for 25 years. Jeff’s 15 year old son Nic was with his father on the day of the “I got a call from Nic to tell me Jeff had been in an accident. accident and immediately called for help. My first reaction was to ask which limb it was he’d injured, but “When the ambos arrived they took one look at Dad knew he before I could say anything I heard the word ‘chopper’ and the needed a helicopter. CareFlight arrived about ten minutes after line cut out. that,” he said. CareFlight Doctor Chris Cheeseman spent an hour working story continued on Jeff to prepare him to be airlifted to the Royal Brisbane on back page Hospital. To keep him alive and stabilise him for flight, Dr Cheeseman was required to perform two emergency procedures at the scene, under incredibly trying conditions. POST: RACQ CareFlight PO Box 5078, Robina Town Centre Qld 4230 WEB SITE: www.careflightrescue.com.au PHONE: 1800 630 014 EMAIL: email@example.com Matt with Doctor Jamin Mulvey during the rescue (left and centre) and reunited after the accident (right) Brave surfer has never felt pain like it Yelling in pain with his leg hanging uncontrollably in the ocean, were winched down to assist Matt. Matt Daley knew if he let go of his mate’s jet ski he could “It was such a relief to firstly spot the the chopper hovering, drown. then to have the doctor take over and control my pain.” “The pain was unbelievable, if my mate hadn’t have been with “Because of the morphine I didn’t really comprehend that I me that day to get me to shore I could have died. I physically was going to be winched into the aircraft. I just remember couldn’t keep myself afloat,” said Matt. being on the beach with everyone around me, then opening The 20 year old was surfing off South Stradbroke on Good my eyes to see the doctor hanging in mid-air, beside me and Friday when he was dumped by a monster wave. the stretcher,” laughs Matt. “I came up screaming with my leg in the wrong spot. My hip The Runaway Bay resident was airlifted straight to Gold Coast had dislocated from the impact. Hospital where his leg was popped back into place. The Gold “My mate used his jet ski to drag me to a beach, but it was still Coast youngster says he’s so thankful that he didn’t have difficult for QAS to locate us.” to be moved between a boat and ambulance in that sort of excruciating pain. The Surf Lifesaving Helicopter spotted the boys, and then the RACQ CareFlight Rescue Chopper was tasked by authorities, “I can’t thank CareFlight enough. Time really was of the knowing Matt required urgent medical attention. essence for me, the doctors at the hospital explained that leaving a hip dislocation for any longer than six hours can A huge tide meant the RACQ CareFlight Rescue chopper really inhibit recovery,” said Matt. couldn’t land on the beach, so both the doctor and paramedic Another way you can help RACQ CareFlight Rescue is by shopping at Office King. Just mention CareFlight when you are at the checkout and 10% of the profits of the sale will be donated to our life-saving service. Our valued major sponsors: CareFlight gives Debra a helping hand When Debra Croyden was airlifted from Boonah Hospital to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital suffering repeated epileptic seizures, it’s unlikely anyone predicted the experience would turn out to be a positive one. But that’s exactly what’s happened for Debra, who has recovered well after the incident just a couple of months ago. Forty-four year old Debra was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15. She also suffers from Huntington’s Disease, and the combination became too much for her body to handle in April this year. Debra’s carer and long-time friend Christine Tooze was with her when the seizures began. “Debra had a Huntington’s Disease episode for two days, which meant she was having severe difficulty with her mobility and she couldn’t eat or shower herself. That’s very frustrating. “Doctor’s believe it was the stress from the Huntington’s episode that brought on the seizures,” she said. Christine drove Debra to Boonah Hospital, where doctors were initially going to transport her by road to Brisbane. “Without CareFlight’s help I think I could have been When the seizures continued they decided a long trip in in a lot of trouble. My condition definitely would an ambulance was too dangerous, and they called RACQ have deteriorated and I don’t know how I might have CareFlight Rescue. ended up,” she said. After being airlifted, Debra spent six days in hospital Debra recently commenced work as an RACQ CareFlight recouperating. She is now back at home in Boonah, and has Rescue volunteer. Just a few weeks ago she accepted improved in leaps and bounds. a donation from the Quota Club of Boonah on behalf of Debra can’t remember much of her helicopter flight, but will CareFlight. be forever grateful for the life-saving treatment the Careflight “Being airlifted could end up being one of the best things that’s crew gave her that day. ever happened to Debra. She’s now involved in the community, and volunteering has made her feel really good, really useful. “CareFlight got me to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 20 minutes. By road, a trip from Boonah to Brisbane would have It’s been a real confidence boost for her and has turned a taken an hour and a half. traumatic experience into a positive one,” she said. Spare change gives patients a second chance at life One of the best ways small businesses can help CareFlight continue its vital work is by placing one of our donation tins in a prominent spot for customers to donate their spare change. Supanews Helensvale has been doing just that, and over the last three years, their tin has raised over $1000. Well done! If you would like to put a donation tin on display in your business, please call us on 1800 630 014. CareFlight Doctors spread their skills Did you know our docs are carried on board other aircraft throughout QLD? CAIRNS TOWNSVILLE MACKAY TOOWOOMBA BRISBANE GOLD COAST Doctor Stuart Young is CareFlight's Medical Services by performing air-medical retrieval shifts onboard the Chief Operating Officer, but you’ll rarely find him onboard Brisbane – based EMQ Helicopter or RFDS aeroplane. CareFlight’s iconic blue and yellow choppers. “No matter what aircraft you work on as a CareFlight The experienced Consultant plays an important role in one doctor, the air crew respect you as an integral part of the of CareFlight’s key partnerships with Queensland Health; team, knowing that you are there to treat people in their the training and provision of doctors to helicopters and time of need, said Dr Young. fixed wing aircraft throughout the state. CareFlight Qld has been working in partnership with Qld As well as overseeing the placement of CareFlight Health by supplying doctors throughout the state for over doctors throughout Qld, Dr Young keeps his skills fresh five years now. Grateful fathers dream up a unique fundraiser Two Stanthorpe fathers have shown their appreciation to Tony’s son and grandson have both been airlifted by RACQ RACQ CareFlight Rescue for providing life-saving care to CareFlight Rescue in recent years, and he couldn’t think of a members of their families. better way to get rid of the monstrous pile of manure. Senior Constable Peter Jenkins hosted the second bi-annual “You never know when you might need CareFlight – it’s such Golf and Bowls Day in June, with over $13,000 in proceeds a worthy cause. So with bull manure in such high demand being donated to the iconic blue and yellow choppers. with local farmers, we thought a large amount of it might be A serious farming accident five years ago has made the good for an auction,” he said. Stanthorpe Police Officer forever grateful to the life-saving The manure fetched a handsome price of $1150, and RACQ CareFlight Rescue service. has been delivered to the winning bidders, who are local Jenkins was so moved by the treatment his son Nathan vegetable growers. received when he sustained a severe head injury, that he wanted to help keep the helicopters flying. “It’s such a vital service for the people of Stanthorpe. I try RACQ CareFlight’s Gold Coast to do whatever I can for them after they airlifted my son,” he and Toowoomba services said. together cost approximately Inspired by Senior Constable Jenkins initiative, Tony Latharo of transport company A&A Latharo decided to donate 25 $7 Million per year to operate. tonnes of bull manure to be put up for grabs in a silent auction between local farmers. Queensland Government Department of Emergency Services Kicking back with… CAREFLIGHT IN Dr Renee Beer, RACQ CareFlight Rescue Doctor, Gold Coast THE COMMUNITY LOCAL PINK PAGES Toowoomba locals can keep a look out for our CareFlight Bell 230 helicopter on the front cover of the new Toowoomba Business Directory. The local guide, which will be distributed to over 40,000 Toowoomba households in November, will feature an action shot of CareFlight’s South West chopper in full flight. How long have you worked for RACQ CareFlight Rescue? 2.5 years As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve wanted to be a doctor since the age of five. If you could be an animal, what would it be and why? I would have to say one of my gorgeous Burmese cats, Elsa or Indiana – because they are dearly loved, get lots of cuddles and get to sleep on my doona during the day. What’s your ideal holiday destination? YANGAN HEAVY HORSE DAY Probably Truk Lagoon in Micronesia – it is unspoilt by tourists and it has a warm tropical climate, interesting marine life and DRAWS A CROWD ONCE MORE ship wrecks. I would like to learn to scuba dive and further my Thousands of people travelled to the country town interest in sailing while I’m there. Yangan, near Warwick, for the annual Heavy Horse Day in early May. The popular event showcased working horses Who are four people, dead or alive, that you would invite cultivating and ploughing, among other duties. to a dinner party? Germaine Greer (academic), Geoffrey Robertson (lawyer and Event organiser Mick Bradford has been hosting the event human rights advocate), Borat (cultural ambassador from and donating the proceeds to RACQ CareFlight Rescue Kazakhstan) and my Mum (great cook and inspiration). for ten years now. Over $10,000 raised at this year’s event was donated to keep the life-saving service flying. What item can’t you live without? Without hesitation – my iPhone. Which movie star would play you in a film about your life? GET READY FOR THE Difficult one. I would like to think Angelina Jolie in her ‘Lara BRISBANE MARATHON! Croft’ outfit, but truthfully it’s more like Renee Zellweger in RACQ CareFlight Rescue is proud to be a beneficiary of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’. this year’s Brisbane Marathon, to be held on Sunday the Do you have a special talent? 23rd of August. So lace up in the name of a good cause I can eat breakfast under the shower and not get soap in my and get running! Visit brisbanemarathon.com.au for more cereal! details. What’s the best part of working for RACQ CareFlight Rescue? Without a doubt the mateship. The ability to be challenged, to Five pilots, four critical care doctors, five really make a difference and to get the job done as a team. air crewmen and four engineers are based What’s the most memorable mission you’ve been on? One job involved a woman who was in a serious head on at CareFlight’s Gold Coast Hangar. RACQ collision with a truck. She was bleeding from abdominal and CareFlight’s South West operation employs pelvic injuries. It was a challenge to stabilise her at the scene a group of specifically trained Toowoomba- and give her enough fluid to resuscitate her, but not too much to make the bleeding worse. She went straight into the operating based professionals who work on board the theatre on arrival at the hospital and had multiple surgeries but helicopter on weekends and school holidays completely recovered. Bendigo Bank sponsors a mission Throughout May, all ten Bendigo Bank branches on the Gold Coast launched Chopper Awareness Month – an initiative to raise the $10,000 required to become an RACQ CareFlight Rescue Mission Sponsor. By placing donation tins at tellers and selling raffle tickets and CareFlight merchandise, Bendigo Bank staff encouraged customers to not only do their banking while visiting a branch, but also help to save a life. Other fundraising activities included sausage sizzles, morning teas and teaming up with local school students to raise much needed funds. In recognition of Bendigo Bank’s generous support as a CareFlight Rescue Mission Sponsor, a lucky representative of the winning Tugun branch will receive a CareFlight Rescue training flight for two people from the Gold Coast base. Bendigo Bank will also be presented with a professionally framed photograph taken with the CareFlight Rescue Our mission sponsors are a select group of businesses chopper and crew, a personal tour of the CareFlight who make an outstanding contribution to our service. For operation and recognition on the spectacular honour board more information on how to sponsor a CareFlight Rescue at the CareFlight Rescue base. mission, please call us on 1800 630 014. story continued from front cover “I was frantic, wondering how Jeff was, wondering how Nic was Meanwhile, Jeff and his family are still astounded at the life coping. Nic rang me back, he burst into tears and said he didn’t saving treatment Doctor Cheeseman provided at Cooyah know if his Dad was going to make it. Motorcross Park that day. “Motor bike riding isn’t a sport I support, but I’ve always “For Dr Cheeseman and his team to save Jeff on the ground respected that Jeff’s done it. He was beautiful to watch on a in such dreadful conditions, and in the middle of nowhere, is bike. He was known as the ‘King of the Mountain’ at the Echo something that continues to bring tears to my eyes and I am so Valley Motorcorss Park,” she said. very grateful. After enduring a sleepless night at home in Toowoomba, Donna, “Without Dr Cheeseman and CareFlight, I would have had to Nic and Jeff’s daughter Alyx drove to the Royal Brisbane Hospital bury him. That, still to me, is unthinkable. Both Alyx and Nic early the next day to see how he was. absolutely adore their father,” Donna said. “It was a pretty hard thing to do, walking into a hospital room in the Intensive Care Unit and seeing Dad in a coma, so I just talked to him. It felt a little bit silly, but they say people in comas can hear you, so I reassured Dad that he would be ok and that one day he’d be able to leave hospital,” Nic said. Bequest Acknowledgements “There’s a long road of rehabilitation ahead of him, but at least there is a future for him, and without CareFlight I don’t think he would have had that,” Donna says. RACQ CareFlight Rescue would like to acknowledge the Jeff spent four weeks in an induced coma. Even when he woke following individuals and their families for their forethought up, the father of two was still in a critical condition because and generosity in leaving a bequest to our organisation. of the threat of pneumonia and blood clots and his continued kidney failure. Estate of the Late Olive Lawton He couldn’t speak at all because of his crushed windpipe and was Is your Will up-to-date? forced to communicate by blinking and raising his eyebrows. A Will is a legal document that sets out how you want your Since being released from the Intensive Care Unit, no less assets to be distributed upon your death. It gives you the than two months ahead of the time estimated by doctors, this opportunity to provide for your family and friends after you determined Dad has undergone a rapid recovery from his many die. It is important Wills are regularly reviewed, either on injuries. the happening of a significant event in life or every five Dr Cheeseman was on shift at Toowoomba Hospital when Jeff years. This will ensure your Will indicates your current arrived from Brisbane. wishes. Sometimes, rather than making an entirely new “I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. To see him Will, you can make a Codicil (amendment) to your current walking around and well on the road to recovery was remarkable Will. Perhaps you can consider supporting CareFlight given the seriousness of his injuries. I was absolutely amazed,” when next updating your Will? he said.