Rescue Story - Alfie

"We were really lucky that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was there to provide access to the best medical care.”

There is nothing that compares to holding your newborn for the first time. It’s a moment of joy,relief, exhaustion and a little trepidation.

For parents Daniel and Brookie, it was an emotional ordeal and if not for Westpac Rescue Helicopter, it might not have come at all.

Baby Alfred was born in June 2018 - just a few minutes before his twin sister and about seven weeks earlier than expected.

An emergency caesarean section meant that both babies arrived safely into the world but after a few moments, it was clear that Alfred was having difficulty breathing.

For twelve hours the medical team in Tamworth did what they could to help. Being unable to diagnose the problem, little Alfie was transported to the John Hunter Children’s Hospital by the Neonatal Emergency Transport Service (NETS), on-board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

“Taking the NETS team straight to Tamworth and getting Alfie back to the John Hunter Hospital as quick as possible, to get the medical attention that he required was of the upmost importance. Time is a big factor for stabilising babies and giving them the best chance at life,”said Aircrew Officer Nathan.

During a time that was supposed to be filled with love and excitement very quickly became a challenging family ordeal. Brookie and big brother Jules remained in their hometown, while father Daniel, stayed with Alfie at the children’s hospital.

“It was a really difficult time. Being separated from one twin and not being able to hold your new baby,” said Daniel.

“We just had to have faith in the system and trust that Alfie would be well. We were really lucky that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was there to provide access to the best medical care for him.”

Today thanks to the quick response of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the specialist NETS team, Alfie is happy and thriving and is a great example of how important the Service is to regional communities.

“It’s so humbling that Alfie was assisted by the helicopter and the community. He hadn’t even been part of the community for a whole day and the Service was still able to help him.

“Those men and women on board the Rescue Helicopter work tirelessly to save people’s lives. For a baby who was only 15 hours old to have such an incredible team caring for him was an indescribable feeling, without them being as great as they are at their jobs, the outcome might have been really different for Alfie,” said Daniel.

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