Hope's story

Date published

18 Dec 2017

Unexpectedly at 26 weeks pregnant, Hayley woke early in the morning and knew something was wrong. Hayley and her unborn baby needed urgent medical care in Perth’s specialist maternity and paediatric wards.

Every year more than 8,000 people in Western Australian rely on the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide emergency medical and primary health services across our great state – that’s more than 160 people each day.

As the festive season approaches, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that it’s through the incredible generosity of people like you that we can continue to deliver life-saving medical care to the furthest corners of our great state, and within reach of thousands of people, like Hayley Sortras and her daughter Hope.

In 2002, Augusta local Hayley Sortras had a wonderful surprise after months of trying to conceive naturally. After her first round of IVF, she and her husband Les were thrilled to be expecting their first baby.

Unexpectedly at 26 weeks pregnant, Hayley woke early in the morning and knew something was wrong. Les took her straight to the hospital where the doctor discovered she was 8cm dilated – just 2cm away from her baby being born. With another 14 weeks before her due date, Hayley and her unborn baby needed urgent medical care in Perth’s specialist maternity and paediatric wards.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was Hayley’s only hope of getting to Perth in time, where she could receive the care her baby so desperately needed.

Receiving expert medical care while being transported is one of the many life-saving benefits your support makes possible. For Hayley, we were able to have a paediatrician from Princess Margaret Hospital on board, as well as a neonatal cot that can provide oxygen for a premature baby.

It took 36 minutes for Hayley to fly from Margaret River to Perth, as then Senior Flight Nurse Paul Ingram still remembers. “We thought we were going to be involved in an in-flight birth.”

Hope as a baby

Thankfully, Hayley made it to King Edward where she gave birth to a baby girl who weighed less than a kilo. Fittingly, they named her Hope. “We had not chosen Hope’s name before she was born. It seemed appropriate at the time as it was all we could do when she was born,” Hayley explains. “The Flying Doctor is amazing. Hope might not have been here today if it wasn’t for them.”

Hope came out of critical care after three days and had her first cuddle with her mum.
It was touch and go, but Hope survived and is now a strong and healthy teenager. Today, Hope is a happy and healthy 15-year-old who loves school, plays netball, piano and the guitar. Her family is very proud of her and grateful for the Flying Doctor.

By making a donation today, we can continue to deliver the very best medical care to individuals and families living, travelling and working across WA. They too need more than just hope in medical emergencies. They need to know that we’re there, whenever and wherever they need us.

Over the Christmas and New Year period while the Flying Doctor is busy delivering its vital services to those in need, the generosity of our community is more important than ever.

A gift this Christmas would not only give us a great start to 2018 - you’ll continue to help us provide our life-saving service to all corners of our 2.5 million square kilometre state - DONATE HERE NOW>