Northern Beaches local, Brooke O’Fee, shares the moment her son’s life was saved following a sudden brain aneurysm.
“On Father’s Day 2020, my family spent our Sunday afternoon as usual – the kids played outside, and my husband, Todd, and I relaxed around the house following the day’s celebrations. My then 12-year-old son, Lochie, played on the trampoline with his brothers until he started complaining about a headache.
“The pain grew worse all at once when he suddenly started screaming and crying whilst holding his head. He soon lost consciousness, and my heart stopped. I called Triple Zero, and my CPR training kicked into action when Lochie’s breathing slowed, and he began vomiting.
“I became laser-focused on saving my son. It all happened so unexpectedly and quickly, but my family and I worked on calling for help from neighbouring family members and providing CPR as the Triple Zero operator instructed, all to save my son desperately. It felt like this was it for my little boy.
“Suddenly, the booming of the CareFlight helicopter wings echoed my own pounding heart as the pilot expertly manoeuvred into a nearby park so that Lochie could quickly be brought to the hospital for critical care. His pilot, Ian Smart, was air bound with Lochie almost immediately, and in just eight minutes, he was in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
“Just watching the CareFlight helicopter take off with our injured son is a sight our whole family will never forget. When Todd and I drove to meet the team at the hospital, all we could think about was how time was so critical in saving our son from what turned out to be a sudden brain aneurysm. We will never forget the calmness and focus from Ian, who flew with precision to help save our son’s life – he remained stable during the frantic situation.
“If it wasn’t for the rapid response from CareFlight, I’m not sure what would have happened. CareFlight holds a special place in our family’s heart, and we are eternally grateful. That’s why I’m thrilled Nurofen has announced a three-year sponsorship of the nationwide not-for-profit’s pilots to continue helping save lives like Lochie’s. I can’t help but feel awestruck every time I hear Lochie’s infectious laugh and see him and his brothers mess around on the trampoline. I thank CareFlight for the service and Nurofen for celebrating the extraordinary, life-saving work CareFlight pilots do within their community.
“Now every time I hear a helicopter fly overhead, I take a moment to pause and look up, hoping another family is not in trouble and wishing the pilots well as they navigate physically demanding scenes to land safely.”