Graphic: graham moss retrieval
In January last year, Graham Moss, his wife Robyn and two friends Geoff and Anne, were making their way to Esperance from Denmark, travelling along the South Coast Highway when he momentarily blacked out at the wheel.
Graham describes what transpired next as “from go to woah”.
Fortunately, the vehicle they were in had an SOS emergency call system that is triggered if the airbags deploy, alerting the local ambulance, police and firefighters to attend the scene.
“At first I saw my wife Robyn get out of the driver’s seat, she then fell to the ground in agony which was terrifying,” Graham said.
“Geoff remained in the car and Anne was able to get out. I was fairly mobile with only a bruised thumb and was able to assess the situation while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
"Luckily some cars pulled over to check on us.”
Graphic: jet retrieval
Rushed to Ravensthorpe Hospital in an ambulance, doctors called the RFDS for help after assessing Geoff, Anne and Robyn’s injuries as critical and requiring urgent surgery in Perth, 500 kilometres away.
Time was of the essence and the PC-24 jet, the fastest in the RFDS fleet, was on standby at Jandakot Airport.
Equipped with world-class aeromedical equipment, RFDS clinicians are able to provide critical care, monitor the patient’s condition and provide pain relief during flight.
"It was fantastic the RFDS was able to send an aircraft to help us,” Graham said.
“The doctor and nurse from the RFDS reassessed all four of us and transferred us onto the stretchers and onto the aircraft. I was lucky that I was able to join them in the jet.
“The care provided to us by the doctors and nurses was fantastic. They looked after us and made sure we were comfortable and reassured.”
At Royal Perth Hospital, Robyn required surgery with a fractured vertebrae, Geoff had a broken collar bone, sternum and fractured ribs and Anne was put in a spinal brace.
“If the RFDS wasn’t around, my wife wouldn’t have been able to receive the urgent medical attention she needed and the desperate situation we were in would have only got worse,” Graham said.
“It’s taken me a while to come to grips with it all as I was the driver, but the RFDS certainly eased the pain and suffering my wife and friends were going through.
“You would never think this situation would only be 500 kilometres from home.”
Graham passed on his gratitude to all emergency and medical services who responded to the incident and for the care provided to his wife and friends during their recovery.
Help the RFDS get emergency care to patients quickly. Responding to motor vehicle accidents in remote WA is one of the most common reasons the RFDS is called for help.