Jade-Elle car crash

My sister, the brave

Date published

10 Jul 2017

Twins Ruby and Molly were only six when it happened. Their big sister Jade-Elle was just eight. They were on their way home after joyful morning on their granddad's old family farm in Duckinwilla, when suddenly, without warning a nine-ton motor home rolled down an embankment and crushed their car.

Bystanders rushed to help, but the girls were completely trapped inside the vehicle. They cried for their mother Justine, but she was many miles away working in her office at the time, and all the desperate crowd could do was reassure them that help was on its way.

Ruby and Jade-Elle were eventually freed by the emergency services. But Molly was unconscious and trapped, and the emergency services had to work out a plan to release her.

Jade-Elle saw a gap in the wreckage and crawled back in and freed her unconscious sister. It was an act of heroism that resulted in an official bravery award.

Jade-Elle, her sisters and their granddad

The girls were rushed to the nearest hospital in Hervey Bay. But unfortunately Molly's head injuries were life-threatening, and she needed to get to Brisbane's Royal Children's Hospital for immediate surgery.

The three and half hour journey by road would have been too long and too dangerous. So the Flying Doctor was called to Hervey Bay and from there it took us just 45 minutes to fly Molly to where she needed to be.

Three weeks later, Molly was well enough to continue her recovery at home, along with her two sisters and their unbelievably relieved mum and dad, who had feared they'd lost their entire family that day.

It's tempting to call the children's survival a miracle. But that would be incorrect. The reason they're still with us is because Queensland is blessed with heroes. And they came out in force that day.

Some of those who helped were accidental heroes, like the bystanders who risked themselves to comfort the girls. Some were 'just doing their jobs', like the emergency personnel who freed them from the wreck. But the majority of the heroes that day weren't even on the scene.

They were at work, or at home or at the shops. And yet, they were still helping to save the girls' lives because of a decision they'd taken earlier to support the Flying Doctor with a generous gift.

Your support means the world

Each year leading up to tax time we hold one of our biggest fundraising campaigns, and this year has proven to be one of our most successful yet. Running from May 1st through to the end of June, our 2017 Tax Appeal managed to raise more than $600,000. This is a truly remarkable result and is only possible through the absolute generosity of our Queensland supporters.

On behalf of everyone at the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the Brown family, who allowed us to share the harrowing story of their three daughters' survival, we would like to say thank you. Without your incredible support, we would simply not be able to continue our lifesaving work.