Top End Rescue Helicopter brings a family back together.

One Friday afternoon in March 2018, Jason was with his six-year-old daughter Kia for an overnight adventure. They departed Darwin on an overnight trip with friends in the remote Douglas Daly region. Jason’s wife Debra, a Northern Territory police officer, kissed them goodbye and got on with her own plans for the day. “Little did I know, just hours later, my world was going to come crashing down,” Debra said.

Jason and Kia had been in an accident, their car flipped on a quiet road on the way to visit friends on an isolated property. When the station manager’s wife called to let Debra know, she told her that CareFlight was on its way. “My whole world came crashing down in a second. I remember getting off the phone and not knowing what to do. felt sick with worry. I was so far away. How could I help my family from hundreds of kilometres away?”

The accident happened near dusk on a lonely strip of road. Braking suddenly to avoid stray cattle, Jason lost control of the vehicle. The wheels skidded and the car rolled over and over, landing in a ditch about 40 metres away.

Kia escaped with minor bruising, but Jason was badly hurt. He had a head wound and serious back injuries, including a compressed disc and fractured thoracic vertebrae. In situations like these, the right sort of care is critical in order to ensure the patient’s injuries do not get worse.

To reach Jason and Kia, the Top End Medical Rescue Helicopter was tasked. Our crew had to wait out one of the Top End’s powerful wet season thunderstorms. Weather like this can seriously hamper rescue efforts and in a region prone to widespread flooding, an aeromedical service like ours is often the only way to provide urgent medical assistance.

Once landed, our doctors were able to assess and treat Jason’s injuries and transport him and Kia safely, via helicopter, to Darwin Hospital, where the young family was reunited.

“I can’t thank CareFlight enough for the care they took of my precious husband and daughter. They made sure my family came back to me and I’ll never forget that,” Debra said. “When I thought no one was there, CareFlight flew to the rescue of my family. Without CareFlight to treat him at the scene and fly him to Royal Darwin Hospital, I don’t think he would be making such a great recovery.”