One word covers the answer – “community”.
People in rural Australia are resourceful and band together in times of crisis, like any community throughout Australia – after all, we must be able to rely on each other when things go wrong – this is a time when differences must be put apart when people’s health or livelihoods are under threat.
While our family are no different to the thousands of others in rural Australia, we are able to share the tyranny of distance and medical emergencies so that readers and those genuinely interested in life on a Station in Queensland have some insight into real day to day happenings, and the consequences of every action.
This year, 2012 – “Year of the Farmer” has meant, indeed encompassed many things for many people.
For the present “Mt Morris” family, it has been one hell of a ride! J
2012 saw the commencement of the massive floods that soaked indeed much of Australia’s eastern states. Many would have seen Charleville as well on the news, along with so many other rural towns. For us, the need to make sure that medical and food supplies were met to ride out the soaking waters was imperative, especially with an asthmatic in the house.
By and large, like all families on rural properties this just comes down to organizational matters, being prepared and putting in place strategies before any natural disaster occurs.
Of course, the inevitable loss of power supply is to be expected. So generators to the ready are another basic priority not to be forgotten. The flooding rains are what make our land come to life, so this we must always view as a positive, while at times; there are moments when the devastation must not be dismissed as well. Balance, perspective and coping strategies once again are important to perspective.
Once the floods subsided, the season was just beautiful – the boost that this gives to all people on the land, abundant waters and plant life is not a hard thing to tolerate – productive land!
“Mt Morris” family was now looking forward to another milestone, which was daughter number 3 commencing her studies at Longreach Pastoral College – something that had been her goal for a long while, was now a reality – so much excitement to be doing what she loved – in the Agricultural sector, and with horses.
This was to be short lived.
An accident while at the College while riding a horse, saw her world come crashing down around her, and ended her time at the College.
She broke her back. She did not come off her horse, the injury was sustained in the saddle – that old saying “stick with them if they turn it on, and don’t come out of the saddle” that so many in the bush subscribe too, occasionally are not for the best!
The immediate response from the Longreach hospital and ambulance could not have been completed more expeditiously anywhere. Brilliant response.
The medical staff at the hospital at Longreach, unwavering in their dedication to her needs, all encompassing while awaiting the much loved Royal Flying Doctor to arrive – which, they did as always ready to be there for people in the bush.
From Longreach to Rockhampton Base Hospital. The good news, once the swelling started to subside, no spinal cord damage! How fortunate she was, how blessed were the family – recovery is a wonderful word, there is so much strength in that word that is positive. And if there was no recovery, it would have just meant a different way of life for her, and for us all – one does not put ones head in the sand – life is full of surprises for us all, even though we may not like them much at the time!
After a while, she was airlifted back with the Royal Flying Doctor, due to arrive on our Station airstrip, as she was still unable to do many things, including walk – unfortunately at this time, it had rained on the day the RFDS was to land, so onwards to Charleville the Doctor in the sky went, and to Charleville hospital she now went. Staying a few days till we could get to town and bring her home.
This entailed a mattress in the back of the vehicle to lay her on, all the way home – 110ks approx, on some pretty ordinary wet road at that time.
Months of physiotherapy, pain relief and frustration – in addition to which direction her life was now going to take was a daily grind. Sheer determination, and being at peak physical condition on her part has held her in good stead – and a full recovery has been recognised.
Without the support of neighbours checking and watering dogs other animals, the diligent medical profession aiding on all fronts support not only the patient, our daughter, but offering and supporting the family – this would have been a lot more challenging until the final outcome would be known.
Letters, cards and emails – messages by the truck load – community, is where the strength is.
While this “trial” happened in a “town” many people still wish to know what happens with mishaps or emergencies on the station.