Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Life She Needs to Save; Paramedic Needs the Coast's Help

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Life She Needs to Save; Paramedic Needs the Coast's Help

Article excerpt

SARAH

BARNHAM

sarah.barnham@scnews.com.au

SHE'S spent 20 years saving other people's lives in a job desensitised to pain, sickness and death.

And now she has to save her six-year-old son from that same, grim reality.

Coast woman Amie Kirkwood has served the Sunshine Coast community for two decades as a paramedic for the Queensland Ambulance Service.

But it's time for the Coast to repay the favour.

Ms Kirkwood's life has come to a screaming halt with her son, Albie's leukaemia diagnosis.

On July 30, she dressed her son ready for school before a quick trip to the doctors to check in on an earache.

Albie had blood tests done, given antibiotics for the ear infection and sent on his way.

That night the mother-of-five received a phone call, telling her to get to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, immediately.

From there, she was hit with the hard news.

Ms Kirkwood hasn't been able to bring Albie home since.

They were rushed to the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital via ambulance to Brisbane so Albie could be admitted and begin chemotherapy.

Ms Kirkwood moved to a leukaemia village near the hospital, away from family and friends, one foot always out the door in case Albie took a turn for the worse.

But her heartache was only just beginning. Two months to the day Albie was diagnosed, her mother died.

Ms Kirkwood said her mother had long-standing liver problems but they hadn't worsened or caused her any problems before her passing.

"She was heartbroken," Ms Kirkwood said.

"We don't know what happened, the news of Albie hit her hard and we think she just couldn't take it.

"All of a sudden, she was gone...it has been so hard."

Ms Kirkwood said it felt like she was living someone else's life.

"It has been so horrific, just trying to get my head around what is going on.

"We were always such a happy and positive family...things like this just don't happen to us."

To make matters worse she had to leave her job to live in Brisbane. …

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