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Northern NSW : Summer 2017
Rescue Helicopter pilot Mark Goolmeer maintained his composure and conducted a brief interview for Newcastle’s NBN television news in his usual professional style on 10 November. But as soon as he turned away from the camera it was clear he was as emotionally affected as everyone else at the Broadmeadow base that morning. The date is significant. It was two years to the day that Kristyn Rourke had been rescued by the Service after her car plunged from an M1 bridge. She was visiting the base for a ‘reunion’ to meet and say thanks to crew who attended her accident in 2014. Kristyn, from Rutherford, has no memory of the week leading up to the accident, or the two months after it. The condition is known as post-traumatic amnesia and she had to relearn all life’s skills. The visit to the base was cathartic, occasionally tough, contained touches of humour, but was at all times moving. Two of the Service crew, pilot Goolmeer and air crewman Glen Ramplin, were on hand for the visit. On November 10, 2014 Kristyn dropped her partner Tamara at Morisset train station. She was returning to Rutherford on the motorway for a work inspection when another vehicle collided with her car and she went over the edge of a bridge into the creek beneath. She lay trapped in the wreckage for 30 minutes as emergency services worked to free her. Kristyn was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital and from there it has been an arduous journey. She spent about five months in hospital, originally at the John Hunter, and then Rankin Park and finally the brain injury service at Bar Beach. She returned home at the end of April in 2015 after feeling very confined in hospital. She was in a restrictive suit 24/7 with an alarm that went off if she tried to move from the bed. Looking back she understands the necessity of it, but at the time felt imprisoned and is enjoying her new-found independence. Kristyn wants to return to the base with her four year old nephew who loves the rescue helicopters. She has also posted on her Brain Injury Perspective Facebook page how appreciative she is: ‘The amount of my gratitude really is insurmountable. What an incredible service they provide! And the horrific, heartbreaking moments they must carry with them day to day, job to job - massive, massive respect for each and every one of them, they're quite simply my heroes!’ Read the full story on the WRHS website. Cover Story – A day to remember An emotional visit to the Broadmeadow base for Kristyn Rourke RescueClub 3 Rescue Magazine SUMMER 2017
Rescue Spring 2016
Rescue Autumn 2017