Tom Slater SuperSillyUs  Circus

Graphic: Tom Slater SuperSillyUs Circus

How the RFDS Saved the Circus

Date published

09 Nov 2023

When I approached Tom Slater from SuperSillyUs Circus to ask if they would like to be a part of our Dental Health Week event in the Civic Square his reply was “definitely – I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Royal Flying Doctor Service”. Intrigued, I asked him to share his story and now I share it with you.

How the RFDS saved the circus

Back in 1995, Tom’s mum was 6-7 months pregnant with Tom and living in Geraldton, a coastal city 424 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, when she knew something was wrong. Having previously experienced a blood clot, she recognised the signs – back pain, breathlessness – so she got her friend to drive her to the Geraldton Regional Hospital.

There the medical staff decided she needed to be flown to Perth hospital for specialist care.

She was taken to the airport to meet the RFDS.

While she doesn’t recall much of the journey, having been given pain relief and feeling anxious about the situation and the journey, she does recall mid air there being another plane in a close flight path and the pilots having to sort that out.

Alone and pregnant, it would have been a terrifying ordeal.

The RFDS flew her to Perth hospital where she and Tom were given life-saving treatment.

And because of that, Tom is here today to tell the story, and capture our hearts with his and Dana’s circus.

Fortunately for Tom his mum caught it early, her condition was managed on board the flight and she got to specialist care in time.

A lifesaving flight that by car would have taken about 5 hours and may not have had the same happy ending.

Tom revealed he grew up with an awareness of the Flying Doctors and imagined them as some sort of ‘super-heroes’ flying around saving lives.

However, he understands that other people may not know of the work the RFDS do, and in agreeing to be interviewed he hoped to make people more aware of our medical emergency services.

Understandably, unless you’ve been unfortunate enough to be in a situation to need our help, you may not know.

But if, like Tom’s mum, your life, and the life of your unborn child depends on our help, that’s when we’re there.

Tom and his family (he is one of four siblings) moved to the Meander Valley area when he was a couple of years old and he has lived in the area since. And it was in Deloraine his passion for the circus began.

Now, he brings his love of circus to both young and old.

Tom and Dana take their circus to schools and see the varying attitudes and approaches taken as different kids give the activities a go.

He talked about the mental health benefits it brings, teaching the acceptance of failure as a part of learning.

Learning not to take yourself too seriously, to laugh at yourself when you aren’t immediately good at things – which is especially important for younger kids.

And keeping it positive shows children that if they persist at something they will get better at it.

Circus also offers the benefits of being physically active, socialising with people, and expressing yourself through movement, as well as coordination learning, which is great for your brain. Many different positives from many different aspects are backed up by research.

If it weren’t for the RFDS, Tom wouldn’t be here, and the magic he brings would be lost too.

If you would like to book SuperSillyUs Circus for an event, you can find them here:

After having a great time with them at our Dental Health Week event, we highly recommend them.

Tasmania Donate