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LifeFlight wraps up busiest year on record

15 month old William Gamble is just one of those people who is alive and thriving, thanks to the amazing work of the helicopter service.

William is one of the youngest patients RACQ LifeFlight has airlifted. In a terrifying and unexpected turn of events, he wasn't breathing when he was born on 6th April 2017, at Toowoomba Hospital.  He was undergoing critical care to keep him alive.

William's mum Brianna was told his only chance of survival was to move him urgently, to the Royal Women's and Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

The Brisbane-based RACQ LifeLight Rescue helicopter was tasked to airlift the new-born, who was less than 12 hours old.

"That day changed our lives forever. We were so lucky to bring our baby home and we know that if he didn’t get airlifted that day he wouldn’t have made it," Brianna says.

He was assessed by specialists and spent a month in the Lady Cilento Hospital.

William is now 15 months old. An energetic farm boy who loves the outdoors and trying to keep up with his sisters, 7 year old Skyla and 5 year old Indie. Brianna and William's dad Shane run their own business and a dairy farm and ensure William continues his Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy to help his growing body develop. 

The family is thankful to have him tearing around the farm with them. 

"LifeFlight is so important. Nobody ever thinks they are going to need this service but it’s so reassuring knowing that if something does go wrong they are there to help. Lifeflight saves so many peoples lives, we are so grateful and thankful for everything they have done for our family."

With every lifesaving helicopter mission costing on average $12,500, LifeFlight continues to rely on the support of sponsors and partners - including naming rights sponsor RACQ – along with the donations and support of everyday Queenslanders around the state.

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“The work of the dedicated helicopter rescue crews can literally mean the difference between life and death and we congratulate RACQ LifeFlight Rescue on its record year,” said RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross.

"Both of our organisations are about helping Queenslanders, and RACQ is very proud to be have been the naming rights sponsor of LifeFlight's Rescue helicopters for the last 25 years and we'll continue to do so."

RACQ LifeFlight Chief Operations Officer Brian Guthrie said LifeFlight is proud to continue helping so many in the community by providing a world class aeromedical service.

“Old, young, from the outback or the suburbs; our dedicated crews are focussed on giving everyone in Queensland equal access to emergency medical care, regardless of location.”

 

LifeFlight crews and doctors have given a record number of people a second chance at life, performing almost 5,500 lifesaving missions in the Past 12 months.

The end of the financial year marked the charity’s busiest in its 37-year history, with its doctors, community rescue helicopters and Air Ambulance jets performing a record 5,452 missions.

This brings the service's total number of patients helped to more than 50,000 since its very first airlift in 1981.  

Over the 2017-2018 financial year the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters completed 1,819 community-based missions throughout Queensland.

472 of those were completed by the Brisbane-based aeromedical crew. 

The top five mission types for the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters across Queensland, according to injury and illness were: cardiac conditions (352), motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian) (185), serious illness / infection (185), respiratory conditions (146) and falls (animal, bushwalking/climbing, elderly, medical, other) (116). 

RACQ LIFEFLIGHT HELICOPTER RESCUE TOP 5 QUEENSLAND PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
352         Cardiac conditions
185         Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)
185         Serious illness / infection
146         Respiratory conditions
116         Falls (animal, bushwalking/climbing, elderly, medical, other)
 
Brisbane-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew 472 lifesaving missions, costing $5.9 million.

TOP 5 BRISBANE PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
149 Cardiac conditions 
79   Respiratory conditions 
70   Infection / serious illness
40   Stroke/neurological conditions
38   Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)

Sunshine Coast-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew 450 lifesaving missions, costing $5.6 million
TOP 5 SUNSHINE COAST PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
86  Cardiac conditions 
58  Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)
39  Infection / serious illness
36  Falls (animal, bushwalking/climbing, elderly, medical, other)
27  Stroke/neurological conditions

Toowoomba-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew 574 lifesaving missions, costing $7.1 million

TOP 5 TOOWOOMBA PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
60  Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)
58  Cardiac Conditions
52  Infection / serious illness
39  Respiratory conditions 
35   Abdominal conditions

Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew 275 lifesaving missions, costing $3.4 million 
TOP 5 BUNDABERG PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
39  Cardiac conditions 
31  Falls (animal, bushwalking/climbing, elderly, medical, other)
27  Abdominal conditions 
23  Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)
19  Infection / serious illness
 
Mount Isa-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flew 48 lifesaving missions – 65%  increase on last year
TOP 5 MT ISA PATIENT INJURY AND ILLNESS TYPES:
6  Animals bites/attacks
5  Falls (animal, bushwalking/climbing, elderly, medical, other)
4  Stoke/neurological conditions
3  Motor vehicle and motor cycle accidents (on and off road, quad bike and pedestrian)
3  Respiratory conditions

LifeFlight is a community-based charity funded and supported by the LifeFlight Foundation

To support the LifeFlight Foundation visit:
www.lifeflightfoundation.org.au

LifeFlight is committed to preserving the privacy of all those we serve. This means we set limits on the information we include in media statements with those limits being to ensure we preserve privacy. If you need more information than we are able to provide, please go to your other emergency services contacts. Thank you for your interest in our work.