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Northern NSW : Rescue Autumn 2017
A HAPPY HOY FAMILY – (L-R) ALLAN, ELLIE AND SARAH A Hoy there Manilla rural merchandise salesman Allan Hoy, wife Sarah and daughter Ellie were enjoying a great family holiday at Coffs Harbour in October 2012 when one-yearold Ellie developed severe respiratory problems. It was the last day of the fortnight break and the Hoys had spent a peaceful morning at the beach. But later that night things took a turn for the worse. ‘Ellie had been perfectly fine,’ says Allan. ‘But then she started struggling with her breathing. I’d had asthma as a kid and I recognised the signs, so we took her straight to the hospital and she was admitted at 3am.’ Unfortunately, Ellie’s condition deteriorated and she couldn’t be stabilised. ‘She needed a machine that pushes air into lungs,’ says Allan. ‘The closest one available for children was at the John Hunter Hospital.’ The chopper transferred Ellie from Coffs Harbour to Newcastle on 7 October and she remained in intensive care in the John Hunter for eight days. ‘Ellie’s treating doctor told my wife and me “thank God for the chopper … Ellie would not have survived if she hadn’t got to our ICU when she did”,’ says Allan. ‘If a plane flight or road travel was the only option we would not have her with us today. ‘The professionalism and compassion displayed to us by the chopper crew and retrieval team was outstanding. I accompanied Ellie on the flight and the care shown to me was fantastic. If a plane flight or road travel was the only option we would not have her with us today. ‘My wife and I were blown away when not only the retrieval team doctor came to check on us the next day, but also the pilot, Ossie. To be able to thank them was very special.’ The John Hunter gave Ellie a leave pass and she came out late on 15 October to the family’s hotel room in Newcastle so she wouldn’t have to wake up in hospital for her birthday on 16 October. And then she was readmitted. ‘The paediatric team at the John Hunter was unbelievable too,’ says Allan. The Hoys had always participated in Rescue Helicopter fundraisers, in Walcha where Allan was born and bred, in Tamworth where they moved in 2002, and then for the past decade in Manilla. But as a result of the experience with Ellie, in 2013 Allan and his mates at Manilla decided to put the volunteer group on a more formal footing. That group continues to be a success story, as does Ellie, who made a complete recovery and in her father’s words is ‘right as rain’. ELLIE IN ICU Do you know someone who has been assisted by the Rescue Helicopter? If so, we would love to talk to them. Call us on 1800 155 155. 14 Rescue Magazine AUTUMN 2017
Rescue Winter 2017