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Northern NSW : Rescue - Autumn 2014
Rescue aboard the Radiance THE LUXURY CRUISE SHIP, RADIANCE OF THE SEAS, WAS APPROXIMATELY 40 NAUTICAL MILES (MORE THAN 70KMS) FROM COFFS HARBOUR, WHEN RODNEY RUSSELL COLLAPSED PLAYING BASKETBALL ON THE DECK. THE MEDICAL STAFF ON BOARD STABILISED RODNEY, PLACED HIM ON LIFE-SUPPORT AND REQUESTED AEROMEDICAL ASSISTANCE. Anunconscious Rodney was transported by the Lismore based Life Saver Helicopter to Coffs Harbour Hospital. He was then transferred to the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle by the Hunter based Rescue Helicopter for emergency surgery, suffering a grade four aneurism. In January 2014, 11 months after his accident, Rodney faced his demons when he boarded ‘The Radiance of the Seas’ for an eight day cruise along the east coast of NSW. We chatted to Rodney when he used a stop-over in the port of Newcastle to meet some of the people who assisted in his medical transfer. What made you get in touch with the Service? ‘ One of the first things I did when I felt better and got home to Adelaide was to look up the Rescue Helicopter online. It played such an important part in my rescue and I wanted to find some way to say thanks. I came across the Facebook page and I saw a number of people, some of them past patients, were using it to make contact. When I organised this latest cruise I used the page to coordinate a visit with the guys while the cruise had a stop-over for the day.’ What was it like getting back on the same ship less than a year after your accident? ‘ Daunting, really daunting. ‘ It’s funny because the cruise didn’t actually play a part in my accident. The doctors have since told me that 8 Rescue Magazine AUTUMN 2014
Winter 2014 redo