When Australians are in need of critical medical care, but they’re out of reach of mainland Australian hospital services, they need a specialised medical evacuation service designed to be a hospital in the air.

CareFlight’s medevac teams operate with long-range fully-equipped medical retrieval aircraft designed to be able to get in, collect a patient from a regional or international hospital, and get them safely back home as quickly as possible.

We completed a very special mission in April of this year. John and his family were in Bali, Indonesia, and needed urgent rescue and repatriation to the Australian hospital system. CareFlight’s team of specialist doctors and flight nurses got John into safe hands.

Along with pilots Martin and Peter, flight nurse Danni and CareFlight specialist doctor Dush took care of John and his family throughout the whole flight, working in tight conditions inside the aircraft to stabilise and maintain their patient. Dush, who is more often seen at the Westmead base acting as a specialist doctor aboard the H145 Rapid Response Helicopter, said “It was a tremendous privilege to be given the opportunity to use my critical care training to stabilise and safely transport an Australian who was essentially stranded in a foreign Intensive Care Unit. Danni and I were a very small part of the success of our mission; it was the product of CareFlight’s processes, planning, and the amazing work of our logistics and broader clinical team.”

Ben, John’s son, said, “Watching Danni & Dush work on my father during the flight was incredible. They didn’t take their eyes off him for a second.” John’s wife, Merilyn, added, “He is now showing positive signs in his long road to recovery. Without CareFlight, this may not have ever been a possibility. I can’t thank the entire CareFlight organisation enough for their absolute professionalism and expertise, let alone the kindness shown to my son Ben and me. We are so grateful for the tremendous effort you all invested in getting the three of us back safely.”