How a five cent coin led to a vital donation
IMMENSE gratitude for saving their daughter's life inspired a touching donation from the Wright family.
Two-year-old Belle was airlifted to Mackay from Clermont by RACQ CQ Rescue after she swallowed a five cent coin in February.
The coin was lodged in her throat and she underwent surgery to remove it.
Belle and her family - mum Jana, dad Hayden and older sister Grace - visited the CQ Rescue hangar to thank the crew involved and donate to the service's annual appeal.
While the donation was a fantastic step for the organisation, the rescue service are still well short of their target.
CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said the Mackay-based helicopter had already completed 294 mission from the start of the year to the end of May - an increase of 38 missions from the same period last year.
He said donations had not even reached 50 per cent of their $200,000 goal for this year's annual appeal.
"Just imagine how different these lives, including little Belle's, would be if the helicopter wasn't available to help them when they really needed it most?" Mr Rowan said.
"Our funding model requires significant community investment and the annual appeal is one of our major fundraisers each year."
Almost 9000 injured or ill people have been assisted by CQ Rescue in its 23 year history.
Mr Rowan said this year was expected to be the busiest ever for the service, and with an increasing workload came more operational expenses.
He said the higher mission numbers reflected the vital need for the lifesaving service which covered an area four times the size of Tasmania - including Townsville, St Lawrence, the Bowen and Galilee basins and more than 200km offshore.
"Life can change in a moment and you never know when injury or illness will strike - what would happen if the rescue helicopter wasn't there to help when you or your family really needed it most?" Mr Rowan said.
"There's so many people in our region who live several hours away from the nearest hospital in isolated and remote locations.
"Community support throughout our history has been fantastic and we understand the financial pressures on families. but really ask everyone to dig deep and donate to our vital service.
"We need your help to be able help others in this region in their time of dire need."
To donate, visit www.cqrescue.org.au/donate, phone 4998 5232 or head to the fundraising office at 4 Heidi Street, Paget.