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Thankful rescue patient gives back in donations

Toowoomba local Sheryl Norris and her family have elected to give up their Christmas presents this year and give back to the rescue service that saved Sheryl’s life.

The Norris family visited the Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter base this week to donate $1000 to the local charity, which last year flew a record number of missions in the south west and throughout Queensland.

The family was shown around the base by LifeFlight Doctor Dale Murphy and got the chance to meet some of the base crew members who perform lifesaving missions.

Exactly one year ago, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter transported Sheryl from Wellcamp Airport, Toowoomba, to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

As Sheryl recalls, what started off as a mild feeling of indigestion two days before Christmas soon turned into a serious medical situation.

“It was Wednesday the 23rd December and we were getting ready for the Christmas gatherings. I started to feel just a little off mid-morning but continued my day and went to the Christmas lights in the park with the family,” said Sheryl.

“It was here as I was walking around that I got pain in my arms and jaw. I immediately knew I was in trouble.  

“I got my husband Lester to take me to the [Toowoomba] base hospital and was taken to emergency immediately. I was on the bed just 10 minutes when I had a heart attack.”

After being driven by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedics to Wellcamp Airport the following morning, Brisbane based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter transported Sheryl to Princess Alexandra in Brisbane for further medical treatment.

Sheryl had a stent implanted and spent Christmas in hospital.  Only a month later, she received a second stent.

After going through this stressful experience, Sheryl is very thankful for the help she received from RACQ LifeFlight Rescue and the medical staff involved in her recovery.

“For Christmas our family has given up buying gifts for each other and adopts a family to buy for,” said Cheryl.

“This year we are doing the same, as well as donating to LifeFlight.  

“It may not be a large amount but I am sure every cent counts for this wonderful service.  I am very grateful for Lifeflight.”

Every RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter mission costs around $12,500 with the service making up a funding shortfall at each base through donations and community support.