Police praised for rescuing chemo drugs from truck

Clinical nurse oncology unit’s (left) Deb Right, chemotherapy nurse, Hayley Bhamra, Arlene Kirk, nurse unit manager, with patient Sue La Burniy.
Clinical nurse oncology unit’s (left) Deb Right, chemotherapy nurse, Hayley Bhamra, Arlene Kirk, nurse unit manager, with patient Sue La Burniy. Brenda Strong GLACHEM

WHEN a single-vehicle truck rollover occurred on the Bruce Highway outside of Gin Gin on Tuesday, many were unaware the truck was carrying chemo drugs needed for Gladstone patients that afternoon.

Gale Griffith's husband Noel Griffith was receiving his fortnightly chemotherapy that day for his bowel cancer.

Gladstone Police received a phone call from the oncology unit stating they had not yet received the chemo in the morning.

After liaising with Gin Gin police, they located the drugs in the truck, which had rolled over at 3.30am.

A coordinated collection of the chemo was organised and the Mater Hospital was grateful to receive their load.

"It was wonderful; they really deserve a thank you for going out of their way," Mrs Griffith said.

The couple is from Miriam Vale and said it would have been inconvenient to drive home and back the next day, if things had not turned out the way they did.

Gladstone Mater Hospital's oncology unit clinical nurse Arlene Kirk said the incident could have caused delays in their patients' chemotherapy.

The chemo being delivered was two days worth from Brisbane.

"If it had been damaged or could not be retrieved it would have caused a snowballing effect," she said.

She said they would have to have more chemo made in Brisbane before having it trucked up again.

"When we found out it was just as patients were arriving," Mrs Kirk said.

They were concerned the medication would not be retrieved in time.

"It was great coordination by our local services so our patients could have their treatment."

A Gladstone Police spokesperson said the coordination involved Gladstone Police, Gladstone Traffic Branch, Bundaberg Police, Tannum Sands Police, Gin Gin Police and the Benaraby roadworks work sites.

The Gladstone traffic crew was sent south, where they picked up the cargo just outside of Bororen.

When travelling through Gladstone, the Gladstone Traffic Branch coordinated traffic, enabling the officers to drive straight to the hospital safely and with no chance of another incident.

Topics:  accident bruce highway chemotherapy editors picks gin gin gladstone mater hospital gladstone police

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