Grateful for RFDS

Jessica Allen-Armstrong and Amanii Allen dropped into the RFDS hangar in Rockhampton to say thanks for saving their lives.

By Matthew Pearce

Jessica Allen-Armstrong says she and her daughter Amanii wouldn’t be alive today without the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

RFDS crews have come to Jessica’s rescue twice – a Rockhampton crew in 2019 while she was pregnant with Amanii and a Brisbane-based crew in 2021 after she went into cardiac arrest in Gladstone.

“In 2019 they found I had a leaky valve and an irregular heartbeat. My heart was dilated by 58 per cent and I had fainted and had a bit of a seizure, so they flew me to the Royal Brisbane Hospital,” she said.

“Last year in August I had a cardiac arrest on the side of the rugby field and they flew me from Gladstone to the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.”

While she was put into an induced coma before her flight in 2021, Jessica says she remembers everything about her trip in 2019.

“I was actually on the same flight with my neighbour – it’s a small world,” she recalled.

“It was like any other plane ride but awkward at first because you’re laying down instead of sitting in a seat.

“There was no nausea at all, the flight nurses constantly kept you calm, you felt very very safe with them there.”

Jessica said it was an amazing experience to tour the RFDS hangar in Rockhampton and met the pilots and flight crew members who had helped her.

“The world would be a “completely different place” with the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I can tell you now both me and my daughter wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” she said.

“The work these guys do is just phenomenal.