The last call of the day

The last call of the day

The Gove Operations Team were closing the office for the weekend when the call came in. A Yolngu lady, Djurambil Munungurr, had been stung by a stingray whilst out collecting clams with her family in Garrthalala. Djurambil was bleeding profusely and in pain.

Matt Roediger started off with his paperwork as his colleagues prepared the aircraft. Meanwhile at the community, Djurambil was carried to the local clinic by her family.

Story by Divyan Ahimaz. Photos by Divyan Ahimaz, Aaron Rigg, and Matt Roediger.

Most homeland clinics are equipped with a video conferencing system that connects the caller to remote doctors. But this proved to be difficult so the family searched for someone from within the community who could help.

Help soon arrived in the form of the granddaughter of the injured lady, a trained first-aider, who prepared the wound for transport while they waited for the MAF aircraft to arrive.

The MAF aircraft reached Garrthalala around 5:30pm. A car brought Djurambil to the airstrip and she was carried to the plane. Ten minutes later the aircraft took off and was on its way to Gove.

While in the air Matt radioed to ask operations to arrange an ambulance to meet them and by the time the aircraft reached Gove, the paramedics had already arrived.

'I would like to thank MAF, with all my heart. Thank you MAF for helping me.' Djurambil Munungurr

They transferred her to the stretcher and treated the wound with some warm water to numb the pain. She was taken to the district hospital in a stable condition.

I met Djurambil at the hospital, three days later. She had recovered well to be moved to the general ward, and the doctors were planning to discharge her the next day. 'I would like to thank MAF, with all my heart. Thank you MAF for helping me,' she said with a shy smile on her face.