When you’re 2 hours from hospital and time is of the essence, a helicopter may be your only chance.

Being far from a hospital when you urgently need help can be a really scary time. For Penny and her daughter Tilly this was their reality when Tilly fell unconscious.

Tilly had bronchiolitis and as Penny prepared her 6 month old for bed one night, what had been a bad cold during the day suddenly became quite serious. Tilly’s breathing became laboured and rapid, and her tummy and throat were sucking in in an effort to get oxygen into her tiny body.

Penny phoned an ambulance immediately and the 111 crew called in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew. But just moments later Tilly lost consciousness in Penny’s arms.

Rural communities like Penny’s are incredibly vulnerable in emergency medical situations simply because of the time it takes to get to hospital.

The chopper couldn’t land at their farm but was able to collect Penny and Tilly from the rugby club close by. That night, Tilly was able to get to hospital in 30  minutes rather than 2 hours. The outcome might not have been so good if it wasn’t for the services that the Westpac Rescue Chopper offers.

Rescue helicopter flying towards the camera with a crew person standing on the skids