'I owe my baby daughter's life to CareFlight'
KATHY Scott is convinced she owes her youngest daughter's life to RACQ CareFlight Rescue.
The rescue service came to the aid of Taleah, one of six Scott children born into the world prematurely at just 27 weeks.
But it was just before her second birthday, in July 2012, that Taleah needed RACQ CareFlight Rescue.
She had developed respiratory syncytial virus and was gravely ill in Goondiwindi Hospital.
"It was hard to fight because her lungs were still so underdeveloped," Kathy said.
RACQ CareFlight Rescue was called in. On board was a specialist neonatal team from Mater Mothers' Hospitals.
It's routine for the CareFlight team to fly these specialist teams to tiny babies in need.
"Their illnesses can be time critical," CareFlight Clinical Lead Doctor Tim Harraway said.
"Our specialist air-medical teams flying to the patient can make all the difference.
"We also draw on the expertise of the Mater Mothers' Hospital and the Royal Brisbane Hospital Neonatal teams on these delicate missions."
Mater Health Services chief executive officer Dr John O'Donnell said he was pleased with the partnership between Mater and CareFlight.
"Thanks to the help and resources of CareFlight, Mater continues to provide exceptional health care to patients in need across Queensland."
It's a well-developed system of co-operation between the medical professionals that's existed since the early 1990s.
And it gets results. In just one week in March, RACQ CareFlight Rescue crews flew seven neonatal missions across southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.
In those seven days, the community helicopter service flew missions from Lismore in the south, for a baby girl with breathing difficulties, to a day old child who needed urgent medical attention in Dalby.
Last year RACQ CareFlight Rescue and these remarkable neonatal teams airlifted 56 babies in need of urgent specialist care.
"They are the least able to look after themselves," Dr Harraway said.
"So they need and deserve the most care and attention that we can give them."
Kathy Scott, after her experience with Taleah, agrees.
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"Oh there are no words (to describe CareFlight)," she said. "Especially living out here and having kids like I do.
"They are like a guardian angel - that's the only words that I can use to describe it."
Chief, the CareFlight bear, was given to Taleah by a close family friend on her first birthday, nearly a year before she needed the lifesaving service.
That's now become a tradition every July. And as the pictures show, she loves him.
In January this year the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter came to the aid of Kathy's nine year old son after he was injured on a jumping castle.
It's only reaffirmed Kathy's opinion of the service.
"They take the next step and make sure things are better. It's not just the care; it's the care of the parents as well.
"I couldn't live in Goondiwindi without them in the sky.
"They are here. They are always here."