A life-saving flight one of hundreds

SAVED: James Kavanagh was saved by the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 2013 after rupruring his kidney in a schoolyard incident.
SAVED: James Kavanagh was saved by the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 2013 after rupruring his kidney in a schoolyard incident.

2018 marks 90 years of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) saving lives across Australia, including Eyre Peninsula, where the service has landed more than 900 times in the past 12 months.

Coffin Bay resident James Kavanagh’s life was saved by the service in 2013 after he ruptured his kidney while playing chasey at school.

James was airlifted to Adelaide to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital the next morning at 3am, when his navel was protruding several centimetres from his abdomen.

His mother, Lynnie Kavanagh, said a hospital MEDSTAR team was waiting on arrival to take his kidney out.

“Just to know they’re there, (that) someone will come and rescue you at all hours of the night,” Ms Kavanagh said.

“We owe them big time.”

James said it was “pretty scary” and he “didn’t know what was going on” during the flight but being rescued had inspired him to become a doctor.

“(Without the service) I wouldn’t be here today.”

The service lands on the Eyre Peninsula an average of twice a day for transfers.

In 2017, the service landed 416 times in Port Lincoln, 220 times in Ceduna, 75 times in Streaky Bay, 61 times in Tumby Bay, 55 times in Cleve, 52 times in Kimba, 33 times in Cummins, 25 times in Wudinna, 18 times in Elliston and 18 times in Cowell.