Roma Saleyards

Graphic: Roma Saleyards

Roma Saleyards to raise funds for the Flying Doctor

Date published

24 Jun 2022

Off the back of an incredibly successful charity sale in 2021, this year the Roma Saleyards is welcoming back the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) with the Maranoa council set to donate 50 per cent of the live weight and open auction selling fees received for each head of cattle sold at the Roma Saleyards Store Sale on Tuesday 5 July to the Flying Doctor.

Off the back of an incredibly successful charity sale in 2021, this year the Roma Saleyards is welcoming back the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) with the Maranoa council set to donate 50 per cent of the live weight and open auction selling fees received for each head of cattle sold at the Roma Saleyards Store Sale on Tuesday 5 July 2022 to the Flying Doctor.

The Roma saleyards are the number one choice for many graziers in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Maranoa Mayor Tyson Golder recognises the importance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the vital work they do for the region’s residents, workers and visitors to receive aeromedical and primary health care services.

“We are pleased to announce that Australia’s biggest saleyards, the Roma Saleyards, will be joining the RFDS to host a charity sale on the 5th of July. The RFDS continue to be an integral part of rural remote communities; providing a vital service to ensure the health and wellbeing of people from the bush. We look forward to supporting such an important organisation and the services they provide to our community.” Cr Golder said.

Gen Rogers, who lives and runs a cafe in Roma, is one of the local patients asking fellow Queenslanders to get behind fundraising for the RFDS.

Gen has always understood the importance of RFDS, but when her seven-week-old daughter, Hollie, became ill with RSV she experienced the life-saving service first-hand.

“Everyone knows someone who knows someone who's used the service, who's had to be flown out” Mrs Rogers said.

“It started out with a running nose, and it was funny, because a friend of mine had messaged me with a video of her daughter who was younger than Hollie, coughing really badly with RSV. And I was just like, ‘Oh, what's RSV?’”

Gen and Pete had taken Hollie to Roma Hospital as Hollie’s symptoms began to worsen.

“All of a sudden, she just stopped breathing and went limp, and I didn't know what to do. The nurse grabbed her and patted her on the back, and she woke up again, but that was just the scariest thing that ever happened to me — I actually thought she was dead.”

Hollie took a turn for the worse, and was needed to be flown with the RFDS to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.

Roma Saleyards at sunset

“It took them four hours to stabilise her, to get her onto the plane. She was really dehydrated, and it was really hard for them to get cannulas and things like that in. I just remember thinking that it's only an hour flight or whatever, but every single alarm that would go off, and every tiny thing that would happen, I would just freak. I was just freaking out the whole time.”

Hollie remained in the Queensland Children’s Hospital for a further seven days, where she was watched 24 hours a day by a team of nurses and doctors, who ran multiple tests before confirming that RSV was affecting Hollie.

“There's no doubt that we might not have her here if they (the RFDS) hadn't arrived and when they did.” Ms Rogers said.

The RFDS has three pilots based in Roma who fly over 430 patients every year from the Mitchell, Injune, Surat, Roma regions.

More than 20 properties in the Maranoa region also have RFDS-supplied Medical Chests and residents across the area access RFDS telehealth services.

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said “The fundraising received through the Roma Saleyards charity sale is critical in helping us keep the Flying Doctor in the air, delivering life-saving care across the state, no matter where you live — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Funds raised from the selling fees will be focussed on supporting the Maranoa region with additional RFDS Medical Chests, as well as the fit out of a new B360 aircraft, which will enable the RFDS to fly further and faster than before. Minutes can quite literally be the difference between life and death and these improvements will give us a faster response time to deliver care and to bring patients into Queensland’s major hospitals.

“We rely heavily on the generosity of individuals, community groups, businesses and councils and we’re enormously grateful to the Maranoa Council, Roma Saleyards and, of course, the graziers in the region, who will help us raise these funds. The famed saleyards are known for their record-breaking sales and with your help, we hope July 5 is one of those history making days.”