02 December, 2012Reporter: Dr John D’Arcy
Producer: Mick O’Donnell
The day started like any other: an experienced nurse drove along a dusty road in the remote outback. Julie Young taught first aid throughout remote communities in central Australia, but she could never have imagined that one day her own life would need saving in dramatic circumstances.A tight bend on the road caused a horrible crash, with Young’s vehicle rolling several times.
Critically injured, her neck broken, she was fighting for her life. Having been trapped in her car for seven hours, her chances of survival were fading with the light – until an unlikely miracle.
A young woman named Julia was first on the scene – she was headed in the same direction as she was planning to attend Julie’s first aid class. Julia went to the nearest cattle station to raise the alarm. One of the men on the property had been to one of her first aid classes a year before, so knew what to do when he arrived at the crash site.
By then, the outback’s emergency services had swung into action. Flying doctors and policemen were on the scene – plus a police aid, Dean, who had also been one of her first aid students. One by one, her former students found her, remembering all the life-saving techniques she’d taught them.
Julie had crushed and fractured numerous vertebrae, and broken her neck, collarbone and ribs. She could’ve easily lost her life, or become a quadriplegic – it was thanks to a chain of helping hands that she didn’t.As she told Dr John D’Arcy while fighting back tears: “The spirit of the outback is just incredible.”
Julie Young has made such a good recovery that she’s now back on the road teaching first aid to the people of the outback. You can support her valuable work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service by CLICKING HERE.
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