Little Battler Clings on to Life after Rocky Start

Five year old Sebastian McErlean tells anyone who is willing to listen that he’s part of the CareFlight crew. His height is a slight giveaway however, so too the fact that he sleeps cuddling Charlie the Chopper.

Sebastian’s Mum, Natalie McErlean said whenever her little boy sees the blue and yellow chopper overhead he yells “There’s my helicopter!”.

Sadly, Sebastian’s relationship with CareFlight started under terrifying circumstances the day he was born. The 5 year old came into the world with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and needed to be urgently airlifted to Brisbane for specialised treatment in the RACQ CareFlight Helicopter.

“If it wasn’t for CareFlight, Sebastian would be dead. He required specialised care, said Natalie McErlean.

The condition meant Sebastian was born without a diaphragm and his intestines, lungs and heart were displaced as a result, causing a range of life threatening complications.
Thankfully, Dr Don Adsett from St Vincent’s Hospital diagnosed CDH straight away and arranged for Sebastian to be airlifted by RACQ CareFlight to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. 

Two weeks later Sebastian was operated on and given a synthetic diaphragm. These days, apart from some minor bowel problems, the little dare devil is just as active as any other five year old boy.

His mother Natalie is extremely appreciative to all involved during the first couple of weeks of Sebastian’s life and is now dedicated to promoting a support group set up especially for families dealing with Diaphragmatic Hernia Disease.