Patient Story -

Heart patient unknowingly funds own rescue

Life is full of ironies – just ask David Larkin. 

“The day before I was airlifted I was fund raising with my sister-in-law for RACQ CareFlight Rescue.”

The next day the Buderim father of five was fighting for his life after suffering an aortic aneurism.

“I’d just been for a swim and I felt this massive pain,” David said. The local Pastor took no chances and had his son dial triple zero.

QAS came quickly, eased his pain and transported him to the Nambour General Hospital where further tests made an alarming discovery.

David had a 1.5 centimetre hole in his aorta. “It was a big hole.” That was an understatement. David needed specialist heart surgery immediately.

RACQ CareFlight Rescue was called in to help make that happen. “I had never been in a helicopter before so that was quite interesting,” David said.

“They hooked me up to these machines.” David slipped in and out of consciousness as he was flown from Nambour Base Hospital to the Prince Charles Hospital.

“I didn’t know this at the time but the doctors had had a serious conversation with my wife and daughter who had driven down, saying that I may not survive,” David said.

“They prepped me straight away. “They did open heart surgery.” David quite literally arrived in the nick of time.

The surgeons say they got me within half an hour of dying - “I was dying on the table.” David is now working his way back from the brink.

The 42 year old credits not just CareFlight, and the Cardiac team for his survival, but his own healthy approach to life.

“I ran 15 to 20 kilometres a day and I’d just finished the Tuff Mudder.”

Now he has his own marathon mission, and is taking one day, one month at a time. He has bursts on energy followed by sheer exhaustion. And he still muses over how ironic life can be. “I was literally fundraising for RACQ CareFlight Rescue the day before I needed them.” “If it wasn’t for the service I may not be here today.”