Woolworths shoppers support the RFDS to save lives across Queensland

Date published

01 May 2019

This month, Woolworths are proudly supporting the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) across their 248 stores in Queensland and Northern NSW, by encouraging shoppers to buy a $1 donation token with their shop. 

The money raised in store will go towards supporting families like Shannon Smithwick’s. Shannon was pregnant with twins when her waters broke suddenly at just 31 weeks. “I tried to keep calm and told my husband Dean we needed to get to the hospital right away,” Shannon said. 

Shannon was taken to her local hospital in Blackwater, which is 190 kilometres inland from Rockhampton. Staff began monitoring her closely, but the regional hospital was not equipped to meet the needs of premature twins. With Shannon’s labour advancing, it was clear they needed to receive specialist care at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and so a Royal Flying Doctor Service crew from Bundaberg was dispatched. 

On board, Nurse Manager Jackie Hardy, worked to relax Shannon’s contractions. “We picked up Shannon at 2.30 in the morning. She had already had a very long day so it was important to try and keep her calm and reassure her that we would do our best to get her and her babies safely to Brisbane,” said Jackie. 

Shannon arrived safely in Brisbane at 4.30 in the morning and had nothing but praise for the crew that flew her to Brisbane. “The team were fantastic on the flight. They kept me calm while monitoring us closely,” said Shannon. 

Once in Brisbane, Shannon’s contractions quickened and at 9.58am and 9.59am, Charlotte and Penny were born via C-section. Charlotte and Penny celebrated their fifth birthday earlier this year, and are both happy and healthy beautiful girls going from strength to strength. 

“We cannot thank the Royal Flying Doctor Service enough for how much they helped us. The kindness, generosity and care they show for their jobs, their patients, and their patients’ families is outstanding,” said Shannon. $1 donation tokens will be available to purchase in stores from 1 May - 28 May across Queensland and Northern NSW. 


For interviews & photo opportunities contact RFDS Queensland Section Media: 0407 595 014 / media@rfdsqld.com.au