Royal Flying Doctor Service

I rise to talk about a good news story in parliament. I rise to speak at the behest of Mr Paul Wiggins and place on record his profound gratitude to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the community of Windorah in my electorate of Gregory. More specifically, I wish to place on record the events that happened to Mr Wiggins and his partner in what is one of the most remote locations in Western Queensland.

Mr Wiggins is from Parramatta in New South Wales. On Boxing Day 2019 they were a long way from home, travelling through South-Western Queensland by road when Mr Wiggins suffered a heart attack. They rang the Windorah Primary Healthcare Centre and nurse paramedic Shelley Watts arrived promptly. 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’s 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, Shelley 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 RFDS doctor was able to show him that Shelley’s intervention had already unblocked the artery.

Mr Wiggins fully recovered but the adventure was by no means over for his partner, who found herself thousands of kilometres away from home, all alone, with no co-driver. She was about to make some new friends, and it was Ian and Marilyn Simpson, the proprietors of Windorah’s Western Star Hotel Motel, and I saw them last week. Ian Simpson drove Mr Wiggins’s partner, Shannon, and her car safely all the way back to Parramatta from Windorah, some 1,200 kilometres.

We live in a world where we have social media and people on social media criticising, but I think the majority of Australians are good people. Ian and Marilyn are a part of that quiet and decent Australia that many fear we are losing, but I can tell you everywhere across Western Queensland we still are decent people.

Mr Wiggins has written asking 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 of them delivered impeccable service with unsurpassed expertise. Mr Wiggins would also like to thank Windorah’s postmaster and volunteer ambulance driver, Elaine, for her part, and of course he thanks both Ian and Marilyn Simpson from the Windorah hotel for doing such a fine job. It is good to be a Queenslander and we see decent people every day.