News

'Saved her life': Couple on hunt for mystery Gladstone girls

Marcelline and Bradley Chamberlain hope to reunite with the Gladstone Good Samaritan girls.
Marcelline and Bradley Chamberlain hope to reunite with the Gladstone Good Samaritan girls. Contributed

A GLADSTONE couple are seeking help to identify two mystery Good Samaritan girls who gave up their seats on a flight to Brisbane last Friday.

The random act of kindness allowed Bradley and Marcelline Chamberlain to board a flight from Gladstone airport so Marcelline could attend a potentially life-saving appointment at Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital.

Marcelline suffers from chronic nerve pain and has done so for over 16 years since botched surgery in 2001.

The pain stemmed from an inflamed pancreas, with unwanted surgery performed to remove her gall bladder.

To combat her chronic pain, 64-year-old Marcelline receives injections every five months, known as a coeliac plexus block, a form of pain relief for chronic pain in the abdominal area.

The celiac plexus is a bundle of nerves that surrounds the aorta, the main artery in the abdomen.

Blocking these nerves from carrying pain information fools the brain so the patient stops feeling pain in their abdomen.

The plexus block procedure involves injections with a seven-inch needle into the pelvic region and is done under sedation.

What should have been a straight forward flight turned into a nightmare for Bradley and Marcelline.

However, this story has a happy ending.

Booked in for an 11am appointment on Friday, March 10, the Chamberlains received a text message at 3am informing them that their Qantas flight would be delayed.

Arriving at Gladstone Airport prior to the rescheduled flight time of 9am, the Chamberlains heard a dreaded message over the airport's loudspeaker informing passengers that the flight would be delayed again.

Mr Chamberlain then rang the pain clinic who gave a 1pm deadline for Marcelline to arrive or else she wouldn't be able to receive the block.

Qantas informed Mr Chamberlain that there was one spare seat on the next available flight and asked if his wife could travel alone, which was not a possibility as she needs full-time care.

Then two Gladstone 'angels' flew in to save the day.

"While this was going on two young women walked in and were checking in to their flight, and they turned around and said 'you can have our flight and we'll get the next one'," Mr Chamberlain said.

"So now I want to thank them, we made the appointment with 45 minutes to spare.

"These two ladies have saved her life."

Marcelline will now be pain-free for five months after receiving the procedure.

Without injections on that day she would have had to wait months to get another one and therefore would have had to rely on heavy painkillers, which Mr Chamberlain said changes her whole demeanour with anger, depression and self-pity symptoms an unwanted side effect.

The Chamberlain's would love to get in touch with the mystery Gladstone girls, who are aged in their twenties.

Bradley Chamberlain wrote the below letter to the Observer to thank the two young women.

My wife and I would like to give a big thank you to the two beautiful young women who gave up their seats on a flight to Brisbane on Friday, March 10.

Thanks to you we arrived at the RBWH with 45 minutes to spare.

My wife had the procedure and is recovering well, pain free.

You both will always have a special place in our hearts.

We now believe in angels.

Thank you also to the staff at Qantas for their support and understanding.

Thank you. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Bradley and Marcelline Chamberlain.

Topics:  coeliac plexus block gladstone gladstone airport good samaritans royal brisbane and women's hospital



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