SAYING THANKS: Kristy Moloney, Louis Pace, Patricia Pace, Wendy Ogden, Brian Ogden, Harper Ogden-McLiesh, RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan and Mayor Andrew Willcox.
SAYING THANKS: Kristy Moloney, Louis Pace, Patricia Pace, Wendy Ogden, Brian Ogden, Harper Ogden-McLiesh, RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan and Mayor Andrew Willcox. Claudia Alp

Record Mayor's Ball funds donated to rescue chopper

A SEVERE asthma attack could have proved deadly for five-year-old Harper Ogden-Mcliesh when she was rushed to Proserpine Hospital earlier this year.

Her shortness of breath had started in the morning and Harper deteriorated quickly.

On arrival at Proserpine Hospital, the staff realised Harper needed specialised care and called in RACQ CQ Rescue to transport her to Mackay Base Hospital for treatment, as she wasn't stable enough to travel the distance by ambulance.

Grandmother Wendy Ogden said the family credited the rescue service for saving Harper's life.

"She was very, very sick,” she said. "But the RACQ CQ Rescue staff were fabulous. They were so calm and just kept talking.

"We were very worried, but their professionalism was reassuring during a very stressful time.”

On Tuesday morning, Harper and her grandparents Wendy and Brian Ogden looked on as Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox presented a cheque of $87,797 to RACQ CQ Rescue chief executive officer Ian Rowan.

The funds, raised from the 2018 Mayor's Charity Ball on July 28, shattered the record to become the highest amount raised from the ball to date. Cr Willcox said the funds ensured the life-saving service would continue in the Whitsunday region.

"For over 22 years, RACQ CQ Rescue has been on call for our residents in their hour of need,” he said.

"From Collinsville to Bowen, Proserpine, Airlie Beach and everywhere in between, we are lucky to boast such a supportive Whitsunday community.

"It warms my heart to see beautiful little girls like Harper bouncing around, healthy and having a great time.”

Mr Rowan said it cost more than $8.65 million annually to keep the world-class helicopter rescue service in action.

"We are incredibly grateful to be the recipients of this vital support from Whitsunday Regional Council,” Mr Rowan said.

"Given Proserpine and the Whitsunday Islands were among our top three frequented destinations last year for our rescue helicopter, it's reassuring to know council appreciates the value of supporting our service.

"Their generous commitment ensures we can continue to provide our vital aeromedical service to residents, workers and tourists in a time of crisis.”

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