“My, how life can change in an instant!” Mark Asher states as he recalls his rescue story. Mark’s story is just one example of how RACQ CapRescue can make a real difference in the lives of Central Queenslanders.
On the 8th of July 2017, Mark was fishing at the Clara Group Islands approximately 85km North of Yeppoon when a sudden pain in his right shoulder turned into a life-threatening experience.
“I had just caught a hard fighting mackerel when I experienced a dreadful pain under my right shoulder which literally floored me,” Mark recalled. “I had convinced myself that I had a serious muscular tear, but deep down I knew it was much more sinister.”
Lying flat on the deck, unable to move, Mark and his mate on board began the excruciatingly painful two and a half hour boat ride back to the Rosslyn Bay Harbour. Just short of the Harbour, Mark decided to ring triple 0 to register concern.
“I was grateful that there was an army medic present at the boat ramp upon my arrival who along with an Ambulance Officer, gave me the heart attack news. They immediately called RACQ CapRescue for assistance,” Mark recalled.
Prior to receiving the triple 0 call, RACQ CapRescue had been tasked to another medical emergency at Great Keppel Island, however, the emergency response team deemed Mark’s condition more serious and of a higher priority.
“Upon arrival, the RACQ CapRescue medical team took charge of my care and kept asking me for a pain level out of 10, which was 11! The flight to Rockhampton was so quick with top level attention the entire flight,” Mark recalls.
“I do remember saying my final goodbyes to my dear wife. I knew looking into the medic’s eyes and the fact that I was in a helicopter, that things weren’t probably the best.”
The event started at 11:30am for Mark and he was wheeled into the Rockhampton Hospital Emergency Department by 3:00pm. “I don’t know why, but I kept thinking about the sign out the front of the ED, “Every Minute Counts” and the motto was definitely front and centre for my condition,” Mark said.
Mark’s condition was serious, and he required immediate transfer to Brisbane. “By 10:30pm that night, I was wheeled into theatre where I received three stents in my left anterior descending artery which was 99% blocked. I don’t know how I managed to survive, but I did, and I have.”
Since the heart attack, Mark has continued to receive care from the Cardiac Ward in Rockhampton and has slowly regained his strength. “At my last visit the Cardiologist reassured me that I was operating at nearly 95% of what is expected for my age!”
“These days I spend much of my time just enjoying life, painting pictures, playing music and yes still going out to sea in my boat fishing.” Mark states.
“You may well ask if I am grateful, Hell Yeah! I always try to give to RACQ CapRescue when I see them raising money and I question why this service isn’t fully funded so they can wholly and solely concentrate on what they do so well – saving lives.”