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A crew that saves lives

Every year, thousands of Queenslanders rely on the Flying Doctor for life-saving medical care. When accidents turn into emergencies, when new life hangs in the balance, and when medical support feels out of reach, they know they can count on us.

But keeping families safe across an area the size of Queensland is a challenge on an epic scale.

Will you join our Support Crew today and become a vital member of our team?

Becoming a Support Crew member with your monthly donation is a kind, generous, all-round wonderful decision. Know that you’ll have the gratitude of every doctor, every pilot, everyone on the Flying Doctor team and most especially, the people in isolated areas who can feel safe in the knowledge that, with your help, we’ll be there if they need us.

You’ll make sure Queenslanders in the outback can get life-saving care – wherever they are, any time of the day or night.

Royal Flying Doctor Service Pilot, Doctor and Nurse standing with an RFDS Aircraft in the background

You can be the difference between a cry for help and a sigh of relief for Australians, no matter where they live.

Like so many Queenslanders, young mum Gen understands first-hand the importance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Meet Support Crew member and mum of little RFDS patient, Hollie. Like so many Queenslanders, Gen understands first-hand the importance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service – especially living in remote south-west Queensland.

Baby Hollie was only seven weeks old when she needed an emergency RFDS flight.

“If the Flying Doctor hadn’t arrived when they did, things might have been very different. I don’t know if Hollie would be here today.”

A worrying illness

At just seven weeks old, Hollie developed a runny nose. Gen kept an especially close eye on her young bub, as she knew her friend’s daughter was unwell with RSV and struggling to breathe.

RSV (or Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a common virus that causes coughs and colds during the winter. For most people, RSV is a mild illness. But it can be more serious – it can even be fatal.

Newborn babies like Hollie are at greater risk, and can deteriorate quickly.

“The doctor told me to look out for neck breathing or belly breathing, which were signs she was struggling.”

A tiny life in danger

Gen monitored Hollie closely and when her symptoms worsened, Gen drove the 40kms to Roma Hospital.

“I was holding Hollie in my arms,” says Gen. “And she suddenly went limp. She’d stopped breathing.”

A nurse moved fast to clear the mucus blocking her airways, “It was like she woke up again.”

Baby Hollie laboured for each breath. Even with support, she was going downhill fast.

At this point, Gen began to feel desperate, “I felt sick. I thought we were going to lose her”.

Hollie needed to be flown to Brisbane for specialist medical care urgently .

A fight for life during an emergency flight

There wasn’t a moment to lose. As soon as our aircraft touched down, the team assessed Hollie.

“The doctor told us, ‘We’ve got a really sick baby here’” remembers Gen. “I said, ‘Could she die?’ She said, ‘Yes’. I’ve never had such a feeling of darkness.

The team did everything possible to stabilise Hollie. Intubation, a nasal gastric tube to provide fluids. Throughout it all, Hollie was sedated. But Gen was close by – alone and terrified.

By the time Hollie was able to fly, she was covered in tubes. She was flown in a Neocot that provided a specialised environment where she could be closely monitored and cared for during the one-hour flight. For Gen, it was agony.

Gen hadn’t slept since Hollie fell ill. She was frantic with worry. When finally Hollie arrived at Queensland Children’s Hospital, she was rushed into the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. “I just remember feeling relieved,” said Gen. “Thanks to the Flying Doctor, Hollie was where she needed to be – a place where they’re saving babies’ lives day and night.”

A thankful mum

For the next few days, Hollie was in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, sedated, and on a breathing tube.

After a long, anxious week, Hollie was well enough to go home.

Gen is full of gratitude, “If the Flying Doctor hadn’t arrived when they did, things might have been very different. I don’t know if Hollie would be here today.”

“When you live where we live, you’re always aware that you’re hundreds of kilometres from a city hospital,” explains Gen. “Everyone knows someone who has had to be flown out, so I’ve always understood how important the Royal Flying Doctor Service is.

Gen and her family are now part of our Support Crew, giving a monthly gift to help fund our vital service. We’re so thankful for their kindness, as we are for all our Support Crew members.

RFDS patient Baby Hollie and mum Gen
Support Crew with Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) Logo

Why are your monthly donations so important?

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You can help us plan

Every year, the number of people we help is growing. As well as more aeromedical flights, we’re running more GP and nurse clinics, more mental health consultations and more dental clinics than ever before.

Knowing we can count on your monthly support enables us to plan, develop and deliver a range of outback and rural health programs.

This way, we can continue to reach more people faster and expand our services even further.

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You fund essential equipment

To deliver life-saving care in one of the toughest environments on earth, we must invest in state-of-the-art equipment and valuable medical supplies.

Being able to count on your regular, ongoing support allows us to buy vital medical equipment, purchase and fit out aircraft and invest in infrastructure at our bases.

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It’s convenient & effective

Your monthly donations are easy to set up. The amount you choose is automatically deducted from your nominated account on the 1st of every month.

You are in complete control of your giving and can modify your regular donation anytime.

It’s also a more cost effective way to donate, as the automated process helps us keep our administration costs down.

Get to know the RFDS

Queenslanders have trusted the RFDS for over 95 years to deliver emergency aeromedical retrieval, essential primary and preventative healthcare to remote, rural and regional areas.

Will you join our Support Crew?

You can also join by completing this printable form and return to us by post, or by calling our Supporter Services Team on (07) 3852 7515.

Charity donations of $2 or more to the Royal Flying Doctor Service may be tax deductible in Australia.

At Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section), we use a secure payment gateway so your donations are secure. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch via +61 7 3852 7515.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of healthcare. We embrace diversity and welcome all people irrespective of faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation.