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Northern NSW : Rescue - Summer 2014
Thomas had only been home from hospital for a short period of time when he lost his appetite, became lethargic and his belly started to swell. Rushed to the emergency department, it was clear to doctors that he needed specialist care immediately and the decision was made to call the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Mum, Michelle, said watching her baby strapped into a little crib with tiny little earmuffs for the flight was one of the most heart-wrenching moments for her and husband, Mark. ‘W hi le we were absolutely devastated, we were comforted by the knowledge that our baby was in the very best of hands and on his way to the specialist care he needed,’ she said. Thomas was diagnosed with a congenital nerve problem in his abdomen that had caused him to get very sick very quickly. Thankfully, because of the swiftness of his treatment, Thomas was able to make a full recovery. He spent a week in hospital, then at ten weeks old returned for corrective surgery. Fast-forward four years and Thomas is now a healthy, cheeky, mad-keen soccer playing boy. As well as having his sights set on a career with the Socceroos, Thomas plans on becoming a ‘choppy-copter’ pilot for the Service. He wants to be able to help kids just like him. ‘I love it,’ Thomas said of the helicopter, as he played with his model version, running around the room with it held above his head. ‘We need to keep it flying so it can keep saving babies.’ Michelle is extremely grateful to the Service and has been helping to fundraise since Thomas’ trip with the Service. ‘You just never think you’re going to need the Rescue Helicopter,’ Michelle said. ‘But the next thing we knew our three-week-old needed a huge piece of expensive machinery to come and save him.’ ‘It’s so vital that we have community support. If you need to get somewhere it can get you there quickly,’ she said. Thank you Choppy-copter THOMAS NEWMAN IS NOW FOUR YEARS OLD. AS A THREE-WEEK -OLD NEWBORN THOMAS NEEDED EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION FROM PORT MACQUARIE BASE HOSPITAL TO THE JOHN HUNTER HOSPITAL NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. Thomas with Hastings Volunteer Support Group members 9 Rescue Magazine SUMMER 2014
Rescue - Spring 2014