Life saving just comes naturally
JOHN Rathbone has been a paramedic at Townsville’s Northern Beaches ambulance station for more than seven years, but his passion for saving lives has gone international.
English- born Mr Rathbone has an avid interest in science, which has led him to travel to Papua New Guinea multiple times a year to volunteer in the Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre in Port Moresby to help save the lives of native taipan and other snake bite victims.
On his most recent trip, earlier this year, he helped save the lives of 23 critically- ill patients in one week.
Mr Rathbone has been nominated for a Pride of Australia Outstanding Bravery Medal, which recognises those who have helped save, or attempted to save, a life.
“The big difference for medical care in PNG compared to Townsville is that they are a developing tropical country and the infrastructure is so poor outside of Port Moresby,” Mr Rathbone said.
“People can be bitten by a snake and it can take them a whole day to get to hospital.
“Over 80 per cent of victims are bitten by a PNG taipan, which is related to the same species in Australia.”
The Pride of Australia campaign has awarded more than 550 medals and shared more than 19,000 stories of hope, inspiration, courage and triumph over adversity.
Nominations close on Sunday. To make a nomination, visit townsvillebulletin. com. au/ prideofaustralia
GUARDIAN ANGEL: Paramedic John Rathbone has helped save many lives in PNG.