Reaching out to flood affected Lismore

Preparing for the worst case scenario is part of the job, but how do you plan ahead when you’re dealing with your own devastating crisis?

Experts from our Neonatal and paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS) recently visited flood ravaged colleagues from Lismore Base Hospital’s Special Care Nursery, delivering a free two day skills based workshop.

“Reaching out and lending a hand was the least we could do, especially given so many Lismore colleagues were personally affected by the biggest flood in modern Australian history,” said Angela Casey, Critical Care Clinical Program Director at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN).

"A small team of NETS doctors and nurses volunteered their time to run the two day workshop, which focussed strongly on simulation training as well as the latest advancements in neonatal ventilation, cardiac diagnosis, resuscitation and intubation.

“The community has been through extraordinary trauma and loss and we felt it was our obligation to do something practical to help out.”

In addition to training, supporting local business was a priority, with more than $2,000 worth of gift vouchers purchased and donated to health professionals personally devastated by the floods.

“The crisis in Lismore is hard to watch through the media, even more so in real life,” said Ms Casey.

“At its peak, homes and businesses were under more than 14 metres of water with more than 30,000 Australians affected, many evacuated, injured or sadly killed.

“Giving back financially was something we were passionate about, especially as so many local businesses had to start again from zero. It was incredible to be able to support the locals working in small businesses including Farmer Charlies, Henry’s Bakehouse, North Coast Petrol, Mary G Restaurant and PJ Fruit & Veg, while also helping colleagues personally impacted by the floods.

“We can’t begin to imagine the extraordinary challenges our colleagues have and continue to face and we feel privileged to help, in any way we can.”

To support ongoing training opportunities, the critical care team at SCHN has also donated $20,000 to Lismore’s neonatal nurses, to help fund their attendance at conferences over the next 12 months. Following positive feedback, plans for another two day workshop in 2023 are also underway.

The Lismore floods continue to affect thousands of Australians. To support the Lismore community, you can donate to the Lismore Flood Appeal. Details are available on Lismore City Council website.