RFDS ensures specialist care

RFDS turns 90: Service ensures specialist care


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CALL OUT: Padthaway farmer Phil Giles has high praise for the RFDS after being airlifted to Adelaide after an accident in his cattle yards.

CALL OUT: Padthaway farmer Phil Giles has high praise for the RFDS after being airlifted to Adelaide after an accident in his cattle yards.

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Naracoorte Aeroclub member Phil Giles had often seen the Royal Flying Doctor Services’ Pilatus PC-12 aircraft land on the local airstrip, but never expected he'd be the one in need of care.

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Naracoorte Aeroclub member Phil Giles had often seen the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Pilatus PC-12 aircraft land on the local airstrip, with two or three landings a week in the South East town.

But, two months ago he was the one in need of urgent medical care after being badly injured by a bull in his cattle yards at Padthaway. 

The farmer and Mulbarton Transport owner says he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.

“He (the bull) wanted out of there and I didn’t have enough time to lock the gate,” he said.

“The bull hit the gate which swung at me and I was hit with such force it catapulted me into the rails behind.

 “I was conscious but out of it.”

The two men he was working with were able to call an ambulance which rushed him to Naracoorte.

Within a few hours he had been flown by the RFDS to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, saving a 330-kilometre road trip.

“There was no way I wanted a road trip to Adelaide, especially with my leg so badly injured and in extreme pain," he said.

I had seen it fly in and fly out all the time but never considered I might need it one day – I feel so grateful that the service was available though. - PHIL GILES

Doctors found Mr Giles had broken right tibia and fibula bones in his leg, broken ribs, a broken right elbow and needed a left shoulder reconstruction.

He required three operations, including having a titanium rod inserted into his leg.

But he counts himself lucky to have escaped with no permanent injuries.

Attending the RFDS’s 90th anniversary celebrations earlier this month in Naracoorte, Mr Giles said he and his family would be forever grateful for the great service he received.

“I had seen it fly in and fly out all the time but never considered I might need it one day  – I feel so grateful that the service was available though,” he said.

“For the level of medical care and expertise that I required it just couldn’t be delivered in the local hospital. I had to be moved to the city.” 

Naracoorte Lucindale Council mayor Erika Vickery also praised the organisation saying it gave country people a "mantle of safety” and access to the same specialist health care as those living in metropolitan areas.

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