How Long Is a Country Mile?

Apparently, it stretches all the way from Windorah Qld to Parramatta NSW.

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar told Queensland Parliament this week about a heart attack that happened on Boxing Day, 2019 to a couple on a driving tour in one of outback Queensland’s most remote locations.

Paul Wiggins and his partner, Shannon Scully, were a long way from their Parramatta home when the crisis struck near the little town of Windorah.

“They rang the Windorah Primary Healthcare Centre and nurse paramedic Shelley Watts arrived promptly,” Mr Millar said.

“As the on-call nurse for Boxing Day, Shelley’s mission was to stay with Mr Wiggins and sustain him until the arrival of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“To Mr Wiggins’ gratitude, Shelley’s expertise was such that she was able to perform a blood enzyme test on the spot and an ECG. On the basis of these tests, she correctly identified a blocked artery and immediately administered medication to assist.

“Mr Wiggins had a second ECG during the RFDS medical evacuation flight and the doctor was able to show him that Shelley’s intervention had already unblocked the artery.”

Mr Millar said while Mr Wiggins fully recovered, the adventure was by no means over.

“His partner, Shannon, now found herself about 1,500 kilometres from home, all alone, with no co-driver.

“In the wonderful way of the west, she was about to find she had some new friends in Ian and Marilyn Simpson, owners of Windorah’s Western Star Hotel Motel.

“While Marilyn held the fort at the Western Star, Ian Simpson drove Shannon, in her car, safely all the way to Brisbane to join her partner.”

Mr Millar said Mr Wiggins had written to him asking that his gratitude be put into the Queensland Parliament’s official Hansard Record of Proceedings.

“I was only too pleased to do the honours and I’ll make sure both Shelley Watts and the Simpsons receive a framed copy when the Hansard publishes.

“Mr Wiggins asked that I voice his special gratitude to Shelley Watts, who saved his life, and to the RFDS crew of Dr Charles Ellis, nurse Di Dowrick and pilot Nick Tully – all delivered impeccable service with unsurpassed expertise. He also thanked Windorah’s postmaster and volunteer ambulance driver, Elaine, and Ian and Marilyn Simpson for their kindness.

“We live in a world where there is much criticism on social media, but this story from Windorah shows how decent Australians still treat each other,” he said.

So how long is that “country mile”? In Windorah, about 1,500 kilometres, apparently.


Link to Video of Speech in Queensland Parliament February 5, 2020