Graphic: Megan Van Wyk with her son
Megan Van Wyk is a police officer in Weipa, who has had several interactions with the RFDS through her job, however, she never thought she would use the Service herself.
On Monday 23 November 2020, Megan was transferred to Cairns from Weipa at 29 weeks pregnant with her second child.
Diagnosed with placenta praevia grade 4, Megan experienced complications throughout her pregnancy.
Naturally concerned, Megan went to Weipa Hospital, only taking her mobile and sunglasses.
The doctor and the midwife were waiting for her, having left a message on her voicemail to come to the hospital with concerns about her recent test results, but she never received those messages.
When Megan mentioned she was spotting, the hospital immediately called Retrieval Services Queensland (RSQ) to task the RFDS as she was only seven and a half months into her pregnancy.
Megan was transferred with another patient from Coen and flown to Cairns Hospital, where she was admitted to the birthing suite and gave birth to her son Max six weeks later (8 January 2021) via an emergency caesarean (he was due in February).
Megan’s husband, Hardus, and their two-year-old son, Will, drove to Cairns to join Megan.
Overwhelmed by the situation, Hardus quickly packed an overnight bag for his family to get them through — this included his and Will’s passport (not Megan’s), a bikini and size 8 jeans, which Megan had not fit into since 2015.
Megan and her family stayed in Cairns for over three months.
While Megan and Max weren’t in the hospital for that entire time, they needed to stay in Cairns for frequent postnatal care that the Cairns Hospital provided.
”Max was due around my birthday. My 40th! It is a classic case of being careful about what you wish for. I was hoping he would come (a little) early, so my 40th was not spent in labour, but I should have specified that 11 weeks was not what I meant by ‘early’,” Megan reflected.
They now have a beautiful, healthy toddler, Max, who is coming up to two years old.
They will forever be deeply grateful to the RFDS.
You can watch Megan's story below:
The RFDS would like to thank Rio Tinto for helping us share Megan’s RFDS story and for their contributions to support the RFDS to provide the finest care to the furthest corners of Queensland.
“I’m incredibly grateful that Rio Tinto continues to support the RFDS in Weipa and across Queensland. They both do a lot for our community, and being more than 800km (or 10-hour drive) to Cairns, the RFDS is the lifeline to specialist care out here”, said Megan.
RFDS operates as part of the Queensland Health Aeromedical Network.