Man Volunteers for CareFlight after Cheating Death

John Weis has a lot to be thankful for. When he heard the term keyhole surgery to describe a procedure to remove a tumour from his kidney late last year, he presumed the operation would be straightforward.

But when the Toowoomba resident arrived home after the surgery however in December, he quickly began to deteriorate. In severe pain he was readmitted to hospital where tests revealed John was bleeding internally and had lost over a litre of blood.

After multiple blood transfusions John’s condition improved, but doctors couldn’t stop the mystery bleed. John needed urgent surgery in Brisbane, but his condition was so fragile that road transfer would have put his life at risk, so the RACQ CareFlight helicopter was called in.

CareFlight was fantastic. When your life is at stake you just want to get to where the best help is, and CareFlight certainly helped me with that. I was richly blessed that the chopper was available to take me to the care I needed,” John said.

Doctors put a stainless steel spring on the damaged artery to stem John’s internal bleeding. The procedure took over three hours. Since the operation, John has returned home to Toowoomba with his wife Hazel, and is now back at work as a casual relief teacher.

“Before this experience I considered CareFlight to be a very worthwhile service to the community, but now I see CareFlight as life-saving angels. They definitely made all the difference when I was in trouble,” John said.

John recently signed up as an RACQ CareFlight volunteer, donating his time to speak to various community groups about the life-saving work CareFlight does for residents of the South West.

John says volunteering is a way he can repay CareFlight for being here for him when he needed them.

“I will continue volunteering for the foreseeable future, it’s important to spread the word about the importance of CareFlight and the need for community fundraising. And I do enjoy it,” he said.