Parker smiling with his Mum and Dad

Parker's Story

Date published

16 Apr 2024

Like many Western Australian families, Ryan and Emma Galloway love being outdoors. There’s nothing they like better than packing their caravan and heading off with their boys Archie and Parker to experience all that WA has to offer.

Parker sleeping after the accident

Last year they were holidaying in Esperance, one of their favourite spots, when they were faced with every parent’s worst nightmare. One evening at sunset, two-year-old Parker was scooting in the caravan park, when he was run over by a Landcruiser towing a camper trailer. The police officer who has seen CCTV of the accident has told Emma and Ryan it is a miracle that their toddler survived.

Parker lay unresponsive as they held his hand and waited for an ambulance, which rushed them to Esperance Hospital. Time seemed to stand still.

“We went through a rollercoaster of emotions, fearing the worst about the internal injuries he may have suffered, and trying to read the doctor’s faces,” said Emma.

Following a full body scan, Emma and Ryan were told that Parker would need the Royal Flying Doctor Service to transfer him to Perth so he could be treated at Perth Children’s Hospital.

“We’d had a look at an RFDS plane at the Royal Show before, but never in a million years did I think that we’d ever be flying in one in a real emergency,” said Emma.

As scary as their situation was, Emma says they knew they were in safe hands.

“Doctor Gary and flight nurse Michelle were so comforting, reassuring me constantly. During the flight, Parker needed some medical attention, and watching Michelle work in such a confined space to stabilise him, I was in complete awe,” she said.

Parker spent the next month in hospital, flat on his back in traction, which was very frustrating for a child who is full of energy. His pelvis was fractured in three places, he had a broken arm, internal bleeding and a laceration to his liver.

However, being the determined little hurricane that he is, he didn’t stay in his wheelchair for long, and soon he was not only walking again, but running to keep up with his big brother.

The accident hasn’t put the Galloways off travelling and they have had many adventures in their caravan since.

“It gives us confidence that if our family was unlucky enough to face another medical emergency, the RFDS wouldn’t be far away,” said Emma.

Every dollar donated this Flying Doctor Day will ensure people like Parker can access the care they need, wherever they choose to live, work or travel around WA 🛫

Make a donation on or before 15 May and see it doubled by our Matched Giving Partners IGO, CBH and Westgold.