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Northern NSW : Autumn 2011
On Friday December 10 Walcha mum Laura Beard and her husband Brett were on their way to Tamworth Hospital for the birth of their second son when a landslide cut the road they were travelling on. Behind them, floodwater covered the road and they became stranded on the side of the Port Stephens Cutting. Laura’s contractions were five minutes apart when by way of a miracle Jackie Littlejohn, a midwife at Tamworth’s Tamara Private Hospital, came along the road on her way home from holidays. Jackie calmed the panic stricken couple and they headed to Laura’s aunt’s house in Niangala. Knowing they were unable to get to hospital by road, the Tamworth based Westpac Rescue Helicopter An early arrival James’ second chance that’s sweet music to our ears It was a bitterly cold, rainy and windy day in Forster nearly ten years ago when James Moore lay crushed in the passenger seat of his family car not knowing whether he or his mother would make it. “ I remember seeing a car come onto our side of the road, next thing I woke up seeing stars and smelling petrol and looking down to see the dashboard literally up against me, I could touch it with my chin,” James now 27, recalls. James’ femur was broken, he couldn’t see his right leg and his mother was lying beside him with was sent out to ferry Laura and her precious cargo from the landing site in her aunty’s backyard to Tamwor th Hospital. Laura said she didn’t know who was more worried during the flight – her or the Westpac crewman. “ I asked him, ‘What do I do if it’s coming’ and he said, ‘Don’t tell me’,” she said. Safely on the ground in Tamwor th and after all the drama, healthy baby Jack decided he was stuck and it was a further several hours before he decided to enter the world. He was born at 8am on Saturday weighing 3.43kg. Laura said the couple had thought they had plenty of time when they left Walcha. “ We had gone into Tamworth earlier that day to do the shopping and gone home and unpacked the groceries,” she said. “ My contractions were about 25 minutes apar t when we went to my husband’s work Christmas party. We left about 4pm because the rain was really coming down, and by the time we got to our place, they (her contractions) were about 10 minutes apar t.” the steering wheel wedged forcibly against her chest. As emergency workers delicately began to extract James and his mother from the twisted wreckage, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Ser vice pilot assessed what was going to be an extremely difficult operation just getting to the car. James made a miraculous recovery following his accident and said his sur vival was a major catalyst for pursuing his dream of becoming a musician. “Life is shor t and I feel I want to do what is important to me.” “I understand the value of money but I guess getting that second chance has made me keen to follow my dreams and not spend too long doing something I don’t enjoy,” James said. Page 4 Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Rescue Autumn 2011
Winter 2012 redo