Dalby Diehards’ footy fundraiser helps LifeFlight fly high

The family of one of LifeFlight’s littlest past patients has helped raise a whopping $25,202 for the aeromedical rescue service, which helped save their young boy.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue is always flying to save lives and since our Sonny was airlifted in 2018, we’ve constantly heard stories from other people who have needed the service,” Sonny Carmichael’s mum, Petrea, said.

The cash was raised during the Matt Hughes Charity Shield, played at Dalby Rugby Union Club, in February this year.

“The match was in honour of a former Dalby football player, Matt Hughes, who died of cancer last year,” Petrea said.

“It was a league and union cross-code clash and both teams chose important charities, to raise money for.

“The organisers gathered some excellent prizes from local businesses, in the lead up, which were raffled on the night and we were just blown away by the support we received” she said.

The Dalby Diehards rugby league team, coached by Sonny’s Dad Kerry Carmichael, raised funds for LifeFlight, while the opposing side – rugby union’s Dalby Wheatmen – donated to the McGrath Foundation.

The Diehards took the match on the night – their passion for the win perhaps spurred on by wearing custom, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue-themed jerseys, which were then auctioned off after the game.

Sonny Carmichael wasn’t yet two-years-old, when one of Toowoomba’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue choppers airllifted him from Dalby Hospital, to Queensland Children’s Hospital in December 2018.

“By the time he was diagnosed with Leukaemia, Sonny was a very sick little boy,” Petrea said.

“If not for LifeFlight, he might not have made it that night.

“That’s how critical it was to get to Brisbane ASAP.”

Thankfully, young Sonny has recovered and the curly-haired toddler is back to his cheery, playful self.

LifeFlight Toowoomba’s Senior Fundraising Coordinator, Amy Luhrs, said the Carmichael family have been champions of the rescue chopper service since Sonny Carmichael’s airlift.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Toowoomba crews performed 669 critical missions last year, so it’s clear that the service is vital to the South West region,” she said.

“Every dollar donated, goes straight to saving lives and the money raised during this football game will go a long way towards ensuring people, like Sonny, get the urgent help they need.”