Cardell Turner with his wife Lois and children Maddie and Rutland (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

August 30, 2017

Cardell Turner didn’t think he’d live to see his wife or kids again, let alone have the chance to make a tangible difference to the rescue helicopter service which saved his life last September.

The Wondai resident was airlifted by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue after he broke 12 ribs, several vertebrae, punctured his lung and cracked his chest wall in an horrific dirt bike accident on the forest trails near Cherbourg.

Cardell was given what he thought might be a final kiss goodbye from his wife, Lois and young children Maddie and Rutland as he lay struggling to breathe in Cherbourg Hospital.

Against all odds and with the care offered by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue – including critical care doctor Nader El-Rabih – Cardell pulled through and 12 months later on has returned to a fairly “normal” life.

He is now giving back to LifeFlight through the inaugural “Family Fun Day in the Park” in Kingaroy on September 30.

The day will benefit the LifeFlight Foundation, a community-based organisation that supports the LifeFlight helicopter rescue service.

Cardell is the driving force behind the fundraiser and is asking local businesses to dig deep and help sponsor the event.

A range of family-friendly activities will be on offer including pig racing, a “dunk tank”,  free jumping castle and more.

There will also be a demonstration by the QFES of car crash rescue.

The main event – pig racing – will offer sponsorship opportunities for local businesses including the purchase of naming rights for each pig and race.

The pig races will be run as a sweepstake and in conjunction with the raffle.

Well-known South Burnett residents are also being encouraged to take a brave step forward and register for the “dunk tank”.

South Burnett councillor Ros Heit has already put her name on the line for charity.

As someone who has felt the first-hand effects of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, Cardell is passionate about raising awareness and much-needed funds for the LifeFlight Foundation.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue gave my body the critical first responder treatment it needed to give me a fighting chance of survival,” he said.

“In our vast and remote South Burnett region, it is imperative we have a service such as LifeFlight which can arrive at the scene of farm, traffic and sporting accidents quickly.

“The time saved by airlifting patients in a helicopter can truly be the difference between life and death.”

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue performed 300 missions in the South Burnett region last financial year, including 263 inter-hospital transfers, landing at the scene of 29 accidents, airlifting seven neonatal babies and conducting one search and rescue.

Anyone who would like to help Cardell raise funds for LifeFlight – or sponsor or donate to his event – can contact him on 0428-174-957 or by email

LifeFlight Foundation Community Engagement Officer Nicole Bloom can also be contacted by email

Cardell’s “Family Fun Day in the Park” will be held at Memorial Park in Kingaroy from 9:00am to 4:00pm on September 30.

Related articles:

FLASHBACK: Cardell Turner at Cherbourg Hospital after the accident (Photo RACQ LifeFlight)
FLASHBACK: Paramedics load Cardell on to the medevac helicopter at Cherbourg Hospital last September (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

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