Luke’s Story

When seven-year-old Luke fell off his bike, he couldn’t get up. He rolled around on the ground, saying his head was sore.

There were no marks on Luke’s helmet, and he didn’t appear to be bruised or bleeding. But when he started vomiting, his parents decided to take him to hospital, just to be on the safe side.

In the car, it was soon clear that there was something very wrong. Luke’s face turned a strange colour and he became unresponsive.

‘Luke’s father called for an ambulance and within minutes,
CareFlight arrived’

Dr Rob Bartolacci examined Luke, explaining to his parents that there was pressure on his brain and that he would need immediate treatment.

Dr Bartolacci gave Luke an anaesthetic and put him on a ventilator – he needed to get oxygen to Luke’s brain to prevent further damage.

The CareFlight team then loaded Luke into the helicopter and flew him to Westmead Children’s Hospital. It was a 12 minute flight.

In an extraordinary twist, scans revealed that Luke had a tumour on the brain. It was the tumour, the size of a fist, that had caused him to fall off his bike.

Luke underwent immediate surgery to remove the tumour. He has bounced back happily and is growing well.

Luke’s direct flight to an appropriate paediatric treatment centre saved precious time. Had the tumour ruptured, it could have been a very different story.