Graphic: remoterescue

Badly injured and in the middle of nowhere

Date published

02 Nov 2020

Earlier this year, a 26-year-old woman named Skrollan was hiking with friends at Dolerite Gorge in the Kimberley.

One second, she was having the time of her life, the next she was lying on rocks at the bottom of the gorge, in terrible pain and unable to move.

Kimberley

“The only thing I remember was hurting my rib cage, seeing the floor getting closer. Then I hit the back of my head on a sharp stone.”

Skrollan had no idea how severe her injuries were, all she knew was that she was in the middle of nowhere and she needed urgent help.

There was no phone signal in the gorge, so some of Skrollan’s companions hiked back to the lodge where they’d been staying to raise the alarm.

All Skrollan could do was wait.

Our flight crew leapt into action the moment they got the call for help, but by this time they were losing daylight.

After landing on a dirt airstrip marked with flares, the crew faced an arduous trek across rocky terrain to reach their patient. Finally, they arrived.

“After six hours, we suddenly saw this light” Skrollan remembers.

The rescue operation continued in the dark and the safest option to get Skrollan out of there was for her to make the first part of the trip by foot.

It would be a few more hours until she could be safely transported to hospital. There, doctors found she had fractured ribs and severe bruising to her lungs, which explains the ‘bubble’ she felt inflating in her chest.

Skrollan was safe and could finally start to recover.

When someone is badly injured in the middle of nowhere, the Flying Doctor can be their best chance of survival.

This Christmas, your generous donation can help:

  • fund vital medical equipment like trauma spinal boards, essential for remote rescues
  • provide an Emergency Response Kit, should a patient’s condition deteriorate quickly 
  • dispatch our aircraft when someone is injured in the middle of nowhere

Thank you for making remote rescues possible. Your support means we can go wherever we’re needed, and do whatever it takes.