Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Health System Saints

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Health System Saints

Article excerpt

THIS is not a political piece. This is a human piece.

It is about some wonderful people that I have had the privilege of meeting.

My name is Patrick Toohey and I have cancer.

The day after Australia Day, I went to the toilet and found a telltale sign that something wasnat right. From that moment of shock and terror my life has been a physical and emotional rollercoaster ride.

I could walk you through the day-by-day, moment-by-moment unfolding, but this story is not about me.

It is about a whole lot of people who give their lives to our medical system, supporting and caring for our communityas most vulnerable.

I spent a day and a night at Caloundra Emergency. Suffice to say life suddenly had my undivided attention and what I noticed was people.

I noticed patients first, but more and more prominent became the people who were there for those patients.

I saw the professionalism first, the competence and expertise that was so sorely needed and relied upon.

From the receptionists, to the emergency nurses, the doctors and radiologists, the staff went about their business with calm certainty that was deeply reassuring.

The next morning an ambulance transferred me to Nambour General Hospital. It was the night of the floods when all the roads were cut.

In between discussions about my Irish heritage from the driver, a Kelly, and the paramedic, a Murphy (I kid you not!), I listened in awe as they calmly recounted their last call-out, when the water was over the bonnet of their 4WD ambulance.

The following days were a blur of tests and scans.

One of my roomies was an elderly lady in serious discomfort. In the morning a young male doctor came in, pulled up a chair and asked her how she was.

What followed was an extensive and frank account of the various aches and pains an almost-90-year-old lady rightly has. …

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