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Connor Says Thank You!

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Connor Creagh with his family members and the RACQ LifeFlight team who helped save his life after he was crushed by a tree in a freak accident at Coolabunia (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

Connor with the tree that crushed him … this photo was taken just 30 minutes before the accident  (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

March 25, 2019

An RACQ LifeFlight rescue crew enjoyed an emotional reunion on Monday with a young boy they feared they would never see again.

Connor Creagh was just 11 when he was crushed by a tree in a freak accident after last October’s storms.

“I said to Connor, we’ll go up to Nana and Grandad’s and we can help clean up their property after the storm,” his mum Danielle Miles said.

“It was horrendous out there. Trees were down, there were water tanks over the roads, it was a big disaster.”

Danielle was working in a paddock when she heard a blood-curdling scream.

“We ran over, and I could see the other two kids, so I knew something had happened to Connor.”

What she found was frightening.

Connor had been playing in a crater left by a fallen tree, and it had unexpectedly sprung back on top of him.

“He’d been crushed by the tree trunk from the chest down,” Danielle said.

It took two vehicles using chains and ropes to pull the tree off Connor, who was unconscious, but the closest major trauma hospital was more than two hours drive away.

Danielle says she’ll never forget the sound of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flying in.

“It was just a huge sigh of relief when we heard the helicopter arrive,” she said.

LifeFlight’s Critical Care Doctor, Oskar Larsson, said as soon as he saw Connor’s lifeless body he knew time was of the essence.

“I remember opening the ambulance door and seeing this little boy in all kinds of trouble,” Dr Larsson said.

“He was unconscious and struggling with breathing . . . he looked bad. We had to move really quickly to make him survive.”

The crew worked tirelessly for more than half an hour before loading Connor into the chopper and flying him to the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

“He’d suffered a broken femur, eight broken ribs, a squashed heart and ended up needing a full airway reconstruction,” Danielle said.

“Without these guys, Connor wouldn’t be here right now, without a doubt.

“There’s no way we could have got him to hospital in time.”

For the Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight crew – pilot, air crew officer, doctor and flight paramedic – seeing Connor again was an extremely emotional experience.

“Seeing him today is anything but heartbreaking,” Dr Larsson said.

Connor, who celebrated his 12th birthday in December, doesn’t remember much from the day.

But he couldn’t wait to meet the men who helped save his life.

“I just had to say thank you,” Connor said.

The reunion occurred at LifeFlight’s Sunshine Coast hangar in Marcoola.

FLASHBACK: Emergency services at the scene of the accident near Coolabunia in October
(Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

Connor in the Intensive Care Unit in hospital … (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

… and overjoyed at leaving!
(Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

Reunited inside the rescue helicopter on Monday … Connor and LifeFlight critical care doctor Oskar Larsson (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

On Monday, Connor got the chance to see what the view looks like for the pilot of an RACQ LifeFlight chopper  (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

* * *

The RACQ LifeFlight helicopter flies in to rescue Connor last October …


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