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Aimee Fisher - Rise For Rescue Ambassador
Rescue Story: In Her Own Words
of December 2017 is a night I will never forget, but three years on there are distinct
moments that have stuck with me. After a fall at gymnastics training left me
immediately paralysed from the hips down, a doctor on the Westpac Rescue
Helicopter made the critical decision to airlift me to Royal North Shore
Hospital in Sydney.
As someone who
fears flying, I was certainly disappointed to miss out on a proper ride in an
ambulance and was quick to protest against a ride in the chopper. Perhaps it
was the morphine injections, but my flight with the crew is one of the best
experiences I have had in the air, despite the circumstances it was under. Whilst
managing my medical situation they took the time to connect with me and make my
experience as positive as possible, also thinking beyond their task, allowing
my Mum to fly with me so that I would have support in the hospital.
part of my transfer was a crew member taking photos of the city lights through
the window and showing me these along with writing messages on his iPad. I
spent three weeks in hospital and nine weeks in rehab before coming home,
determined to return to normality as soon as possible.
While in ICU I
created a list of things I wanted to achieve, most of which at that stage I
wasn’t sure I would be able to do in a wheelchair. Since my injury I have
completed Year 11 and 12 and I am now studying a Bachelor of Medical
Sonography/Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography, began training and competing
in Para Athletics track events where I am aiming to qualify for the Paralympics
and broke Australian records in two throwing disciplines.
I got my
license and relearned to drive with hand controllers and I returned to the gym
where I became paraplegic, spending a lot of time coaching, judging and
training with my teammates. I have been sit-skiing, danced again at my dance
studio and got to wear beautiful dresses to my school Presentation Ball and
Year 12 Valedictory Dinner.
I worked with
my physios to learn to stand with supports so I could have photos with my
friends and family at these events without my wheelchair, encouraged the
involvement of other children with disabilities in sport, and went on my first
trip overseas to compete in a series of Athletics meets.
I have since
experienced the kindness of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter crews on two other
occasions. A Tamworth crew who were waiting with the chopper after a task to
John Hunter spoke with me after noticing my interest, allowing me to look
inside the aircraft and wear their helmet and night vision goggles after
hearing my story. At a base event I was also lucky enough to meet one of the
pilots who flew me to Sydney, allowing me to personally thank him for the role
he played that night and tell him about the things I have achieved since.
I will be
forever grateful for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter airlifting me to Sydney to
receive the most specialised care available and playing a part in receiving the
best possible outcome from my injury. Flying decreased the time between my
injury, diagnosis and surgery allowing my spinal cord to be decompressed and
stabilised sooner – a critical period of time where every minute was causing
irreversible damage to my spinal cord.
Thanks to the
people around me and a lot of hard work I was able to remain an independent
young adult and achieve anything I set my mind to, sometimes I just have to be
a little more creative in my approach.
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Shared Fundraising Page
First Blog or Log
Reached Fundraising Target
$100 - Helipad Hero
$250 - Lift Off Legend
$500 - Blue Sky Dreamer
$1000 - Airborne Angel
$2500 - High Flyer
Thank you to my Sponsors
Ozzie And Heather
Australian Scientific Pty Ltd
Ashley Collins And Poker Mates.
Shealia & John Coates
Maureen & Ted Andrews