BROUGHT TO LIFE

Woman thanks hos­pi­tal team for life-sav­ing ef­forts that in­spired ca­reer:

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Rick Koenig rick.koenig@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

A KINGSCLIFF woman who was re­sus­ci­tated on an op­er­at­ing ta­ble at the Tweed Heads Hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing birth com­pli­ca­tions has re­turned four years later to work along­side the same staff who saved her life.

Kingscliff res­i­dent Melissa All­sopp was 32 weeks preg­nant in 2014 when she de­vel­oped a se­vere in­fluenza in­fec­tion which saw her rushed to the Tweed Heads Hos­pi­tal.

A lack of oxy­gen in her blood meant she was close to hav­ing a heart at­tack when doc­tors placed her un­der anaes­thetic and per­formed an emer­gency cae­sar­ian to save her baby.

Fol­low­ing the C-sec­tion, Tweed Heads staff had to re­sus­ci­tate Mrs All­sopp and placed her on life-sup­port un­til a retrieval team from Syd­ney flew her down to St Vin­cent’s, where she was placed on a ma­chine which re-oxy­genated her blood for six weeks.

Fol­low­ing her or­deal, she was told by her fam­ily and friends about the in­cred­i­ble sup­port the nurses and doc­tors had pro­vided to her at the Tweed Hos­pi­tal.

This in­spired her to study for a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in nurs­ing at South­ern Cross Univer­sity.

“This whole ex­pe­ri­ence brought me to nurs­ing, it was re­ally the amaz­ing care that I re­ceived, so many spe­cial nurses touched our lives and it’s nice to be able to re­pay that to the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“I just felt drawn to nurs­ing af­ter ev­ery­thing that hap­pened and wanted to help other peo­ple as well.”

Ex­actly four years to the day of the episode, Mrs All­sopp was re­united with the staff who saved her life when her fi­nal work place­ment started at the Tweed Heads Hos­pi­tal in­ten­sive care unit.

“It was ac­tu­ally quite sur­real to be able to work along­side some of the nurses who cared for me. I’d only re­ceived re­ports from fam­ily about how amaz­ing they were for me while I was in an ICU bed there,” she said.

“To work along­side them was a real hon­our and they do an amaz­ing job.”

Mrs All­sopp said she was lucky to sur­vive af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing first-hand how much the Tweed Heads Hos­pi­tal is strug­gling to cope with a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“In my time I was work­ing at the hos­pi­tal, you see the dire need for a big­ger hos­pi­tal. It can’t ser­vice the vol­ume of peo­ple com­ing through,” she said.

“I feel re­ally lucky at the time I pre­sented to the hos­pi­tal that I could get the

care I needed, but if the com­mu­nity keeps grow­ing we need a big­ger space to care for those peo­ple and I’m re­ally lucky I came in on a day there was tremen­dous staff on who were ready to help me.”

Tweed Hos­pi­tal in­ten­sive care unit di­rec­tor Dr Mike Lind­ley-jones said he was “stunned” to find out it was Mrs All­sopp he had re­sus­ci­tated four years

ear­lier.

“I did not recog­nise her, peo­ple look very dif­fer­ent when they are sick. I did, how­ever, no­tice a very keen and com­pe­tent stu­dent nurse and I told her she seemed to have an ap­ti­tude for ICU and she should con­sider a ca­reer in the spe­cial­ity,” he said.

“It was then that she told me I had re­sus­ci­tated her four years ear­lier.

“I was amazed, stunned and over­joyed.”

Mrs All­sopp is now look­ing to find a full-time job in nurs­ing, “prefer­ably in the Tweed”.

LOOK­ING BACK: Nurse Melissa All­sopp looks at her chest x-ray from four years ago show­ing a se­vere pneu­mo­nia in­fec­tion. RIGHT: Mrs All­sopp work­ing with some of the Tweed Hos­pi­tal staff who saved her life.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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