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Northern NSW : Celebrating 40 years Rescue December2015
Inspired to contribute AFTER EXPERIENCING THE VALUE OF THE SERVICE FIRST HAND, TAMARA FERGUSON DECIDED TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK. THE HARDWORKING VOLUNTEER NOW WANTS TO ENCOURAGE OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE TO COME ON BOARD. I was 22 years old when my life changed forever. A serious car accident in my hometown of Glen Innes in January 2014 left me with a broken right ankle, a dislocated right knee cap, a severely broken right arm, and countless internal injuries. The fantastic emergency services’ team managed to retrieve me from my vehicle and the ambulance drove me to Armidale. However, along the way my condition rapidly deteriorated. Luckily for me, the Rescue Helicopter was able to come to my aid and flew me from Armidale straight to Tamworth Base Hospital. If the chopper hadn’t been available to help me, I most likely would not be here today. My travel time was cut dramatically, meaning I was able to spend more crucial time with the doctors at the hospital. I spent three weeks in Tamworth ICU, 10 days of that in an induced coma. In that time I had eight surgeries – seven on my stomach and one on my arm. I then had three more weeks in Tamworth Hospital, followed by another two in Glen Innes Hospital, two weeks in high care at home, and two more weeks in Tamworth where I had one final surgery. I had eight months off work and am still recovering today. I am incredibly lucky to be alive, and a significant part of that is due to the Rescue Helicopter and the fantastic service it provides. It has been my passion, since the very first day I woke up after my accident, to help raise funds for the chopper. I started this in December 2014 with a barbecue outside a local café in Glen Innes. I was able to raise more than $1000 that went straight to our chopper service. I then became Secretary of our local support group, which gives me an in- depth involvement in getting our community to rally around the chopper. As well as these local activities, I have been working alongside the team at the Tamworth Helicopter base to ensure the chopper stays in our skies. I attended Ag Quip to help build awareness as well as volunteering for both the Tamworth and Armidale Show Your Colours for the Chopper fun runs. As a young person, I feel it is incredibly important for other young people to become involved in community events and organisations, especially the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Young people are the lifeblood of our community and the more people who become involved, the more chance the Service has of remaining free for everyone. I never in a million years thought I would need the chopper, especially at such a young age. But when I needed it most, it came to my rescue. And that’s why I am so passionate about volunteering, and working for such an amazing service. I would encourage everyone to do the same. RescueClub Tamara Ferguson with doctors Chris Trethewey, Peter Chigwidden and Charlie Coulton. Dr Trethewey is the Director of Retrieval for the Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital. 24 Rescue Magazine CELEBRATING 40 YEARS SPECIAL EDITION
Rescue Aut 2016