Georgia's fight for life

Date published

11 Jan 2019

You may recognise Georgia from our most recent Christmas appeal – Georgia came close to losing her life after contracting a bacterial infection from soil on her parent’s farm. One year and 10 months on, Georgia’s mum, Linda, still remembers the day like it was yesterday:

“Georgia’s not the type of child who likes to sleep in. I think you’ll find that most kids raised on cattle stations are of the ‘get up and go’ variety. When I went into her room to wake her, she was really out of it, she was boiling hot, and she was breathing with these rapid, shallow breaths – like she was gasping for air. I woke her and said, ‘No arguing. We’re getting you in the car and we’re getting you to Chillagoe right away,” Linda said. 

Chillagoe is the site of Linda’s nearest medical clinic. But at 130km distance, only someone who lives in remote Australia would call it “local” as she did.

“When we got to the Chillagoe Primary Health Centre, the nurse on duty, took her oxygen saturation, and she told me it was dangerously low. She told me she needed to get to intensive care urgently and without pausing she called for a Flying Doctor aeromedical team.

“I was so shocked; I honestly thought the nurse would prescribe some antibiotics and send us on our way. As we waited for the Flying Doctor to arrive, I called my husband, Mark, who was alone back at the cattle station to tell him what was happening. Then I sat down and held Georgia’s hand for dear life.”

Less than 90 minutes later Dr Taylor and the aeromedical team arrived at the clinic and took over Georgia’s emergency care with equipment purchased thanks to supporters like you. 

Georgia in ICU

On her own, young Georgia didn’t stand a chance. This severe infection and the resulting pneumonia would have been too much for her. However, with the aid of the ventilator, endotracheal tube and other essential breathing equipment they had, they were able to stabilise Georgia and ready her for her 500km dash to Townsville Hospital.

Georgia arrived in Townsville Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) alive, but far from well. After a swift and professional handover from Dr Taylor, she was quickly in the capable hands of the excellent intensive care specialists who were waiting to take over her care.

Linda was soon joined at her daughter’s bedside by her mother-in-law, Sharyn, and they took it in turns to stand vigil over her as she underwent intensive treatment at Townsville Hospital. They watched and waited in hope that she would start to get better. And thankfully, 24 hours later, she began to show signs of improvement.

With each hour that passed, her breathing became more and more comfortable. So much so that, not long after, her doctor decided to disconnect her from her ventilator.

When Georgia opened her eyes to find her mum and grandma by her side, she greeted them with a big smile and all that Linda and Sharyn could do was burst into tears of relief.


Thanks to support from incredible people like you, more than $450,000 was raised for the 2018 Christmas appeal – enough to fund vital medical equipment including Ventilators, IStat Analysers, suction machines and endotracheal tubes. These items are what Dr Taylor used on board to help stabilise Georgia and keep her breathing on the emergency flight from Chillagoe to Townsville.

By supporting the Flying Doctor, you are helping to ensure our aeromedical teams will have the equipment they need to save lives, like Georgia’s, for many years to come.

Support the Royal Flying Doctor Service today