Volunteer & Patient Story – Narelle Stickley

Volunteer & Patient Narelle Stickley recalls

Narelle Stickley is one of our dedicated volunteers who has supported RACQ Capricorn Rescue for many years, especially after requiring the Service herself back in July 2005. “My family have always held the Helicopter Service in high regard but after my accident this respect increased dramatically,” Narelle says.

One quiet morning, Narelle was cutting some wood with a circular saw to use for projects around the house. In a split second, Narelle’s morning turned grim when she cut her left hand with the saw, slicing through all the tendons and bones in her hand. “The saw at first cut across the back of my hand from thumb to my small finger and then jumped across to cut my wrist which severed my artery,” Narelle recalls.

At the time, Narelle was home with her 6-year-old soon who called triple 000, knowing that his mother was in severe danger. “After he got them on the phone, I spoke to the operator and explained what had happened,” Narelle recalls. “Luckily, my instincts and first aid training kicked in and I knew I had to raise my hand above my heart to stem the flow of blood.”

Narelle’s residence is situated in a difficult to reach location in the Byfield vicinity, with four-wheel drive access only. “I rang my neighbour, who picked myself and my son up and we started heading towards Yeppoon.”

“We met the ambulance about five minutes down the track and then met RACQ Capricorn Rescue at the Byfield/Cooberrie Park crossroads.” Narelle was airlifted to the Rockhampton Base Hospital, and later transported to Brisbane for surgery.

“I can’t commend both the ambulance and the CapRescue crew enough. With their help, I have enjoyed the use of my hand for fifteen years now and although it is not as strong as my right hand it is functional and almost back to normal.”

Narelle supports the service by volunteering throughout the year at different events, selling raffle tickets and promoting the Service to the residents of Central Queensland. “That is the least I can do to support this wonderful organisation.”