Graphic: Dominic and family
Dominic was playing on his scooter at his family’s farm 60 kilometres north of Cobar when he let out a terrifying scream.
He was travelling at a walking pace when he scooted up behind his mum Cathy and fell.
“I heard the most horrifying scream and turned around to see him lying on the ground in pain,” Cathy said.
“I could see a bulge towards the top of his leg and I thought he’d dislocated his hip but when I looked closer I realised it was his thigh bone.”
Dominic had fallen off the scooter and his right leg took the full force of the blow.
Cathy called triple zero, then stayed with Dominic for the agonising 40-minute wait.
“It felt like forever because I couldn’t move him and he was in a lot of pain,” Cathy said.
He was taken by ambulance to Cobar hospital where an X-ray revealed he had a severe break in his femur.
“He’d snapped it clean in half,” Cathy said.
Dominic was flown to Sydney as a patient of NSW Ambulance in an aircraft operated by the Royal Flying Doctor Service from Mascot Base.
He was then taken to Westmead Hospital where he received surgery to insert a metal plate and rods to keep his femur in place.
The doctor discovered Dominic had a benign growth in his bone which had weakened it at the point where it snapped.
Adding to his ordeal, Dominic then contracted a cold virus and was in hospital for 11 days.
When he was finally able to go home, Dominic still couldn’t move his leg and needed a wheelchair to get around.
“I was worried he would be in terrible pain and didn’t know how we would get him in and out of the car comfortably on an eight-hour drive home,” Cathy said.
Thankfully the Flying Doctor was able to fly Dominic home through the Patient Transfer Service and Flight Nurse Lydia Newton helped him to feel at ease.
“Lydia kept Dominic entertained the whole time, she played with him and he drew pictures for her and told her stories, it really made him happy,” Cathy said.
“As we got closer to Cobar I started to recognise local landscapes, but Dominic couldn’t see because he was lying down.
“The pilot gently tipped the plane so Dominic could see the town from the air. He thought that was the best thing ever. It was unreal."
“He was very anxious about going home in a wheelchair but when that happened it took his mind off everything.”
Cathy said her family have always supported the Royal Flying Doctor Service as it has helped them in times of need.
“The Flying Doctor means everything to us because we are so isolated. I have always had such a great respect and appreciation for them,” she said.
“We support the Flying Doctor by making donations whenever we can. The night we got back from Sydney I made a donation because it was a way for me to say thank you for everything they did for us.”
“They are just the most incredible professionals and they turned what was one of the worst days for Dominic into a magical, memorable moment in his life.”