Living in an isolated rural area can be hard on families but it’s even harder on those who regularly need to access specialist medical services, especially if their specialist is in Sydney.
Kevin Robinson, founder of Wings4Kidz, understands the trauma and cost involved to these families, and in 2011 he set up the free Wings4Kidz service.
“We regularly help eight families from Cobar with flights and some of these kids are so unwell that a car journey takes 2-3 days due to the frequent stops that are required,” Kevin said.
“Regional health services in NSW and across Australia are unable to provide many of the specialist medical care services required for children with serious or life-threatening illnesses. These conditions range from life threatening conditions such as cancer, through to many genetic conditions which are incredibly demanding on children and families requiring frequent travel.
“These children and their families have no option but to travel long distances to access specialist medical care that is only available at the major children’s hospitals, often for several months, but in many cases for several years or permanently throughout childhood.
“This travel is emotionally draining, physically difficult, fatiguing, and stressful for the child and family,” Kevin said.
For others like 14 year old Braiden Jones, who just needs to see his specialist every four years, Wings4Kidz is also happy to help.
Braiden and his mum Belinda Doll had a quick trip to Sydney on Friday (they were down and back in under six hours) and were very impressed with Wings4Kidz’s service.
Belinda said they were very grateful to Kevin and their experienced pilot Emma McDonald (who, when she’s not volunteering for Wings4Kids, works as a pilot for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matt Hall).
“Both of the them couldn’t do enough for us,” Belinda said.
The whole process was easy and involved only a small amount of paperwork.
“You tell them what time your appointment is, where it’s at.
“They will transport you from the airport to the hospital and they’ll come back and pick you up to take you back to the airport.”
Wings4Kidz has just completed their annual fundraiser but donations can still be made at https://give.everydayhero.com/au/the-late-mail-postie-bike-ride-2019-1/members