Graphic: Les Noad

RFDS jet deployed for time-critical mission

Date published

29 Apr 2021

It came as a massive shock to Les Noad when doctors at Broome Hospital informed him in December last year that he had three significant blockages in his arteries pumping blood to his heart.

LEs Noad

Les Noad and his family know the RFDS can save a life. 

In December last year, Les felt a tightness in his chest and pain down his arm. His family rushed him to the local hospital. 

"Dad had a massive heart attack, he was unstable and they were doing everything they could to save him," Les' daughter Nicole said. 

"At the hospital, they nearly lost him and had to bring him back. It really was a big shock for us all as Dad doesn't act or look his age, he's the fittest bloke around."

Les had significant blockages in the arteries pumping blood to his heart. His family were told Les wouldn't make it through the night unless he could get to specialised care in Perth. 

For such a time-critical mission, the RFDS' Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet was deployed to get Les to Perth quickly, a 2200km journey that would take 23hours by road transport. 

The Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet is equipped with aeromedical equipment and highly trained emergency doctors and flight nurses, making it an emergency care ward in the sky. 

On board, RFDS crews monitored Les every step of the way to keep him stabilised during the journey to Perth. 

"I know that I am very lucky to be alive," Les shared when he visited the RFDS Broome base after recovering from the incident. 

"Without the RFDS, I'm not sure what I would have done. Without you, I wouldn't be alive and that's the truth."

On 17 May, we will celebrate Flying Doctor Day and 93 years of proudly serving the Australian community. 

This Flying Doctor Day, we ask for your support to meet the every growing need for our service, by helping us provide clinical simulation training, life-saving equipment and help us invest in the leading technology to continue improving patient outcomes. 

If you can give a gift on or before Monday 17 May, your donation will be DOUBLED thanks to our generous partners Rio Tinto, CBH Group and IGO Group who will be matching every dollar. 

When you need us, we are there for you 24/7. Please support us this Flying Doctor Day.