Enquiring at the Byron Central Hospital open day, it seems that there is no provision for a heliport.
In 1992 my four-year-old son became desperately ill with a severe respiratory condition, later diagnosed as Hibs. He was almost unable to breathe when we took him down from our home in upper Mullum Creek to the local hospital in Mullumbimby. A surgeon from Byron Bay stood by prepared to do a tracheotomy.
The helicopter was summoned and landed at the hospital heliport. At midnight he was flown to the Brisbane Mater hospital ICU. My wife and I travelled by car and arrived several hours later. I had never seen him so ill with tubes and hoses connected to his small body.
Why is there now 24 years later no heliport planned for the new central hospital at Ewingsdale?
Last week in the Echo it was reported that the helicopter facility at Lismore is now under review because of fog limitations. Serious cases cannot always be attended.
Apparently Ballina is being considered as an alternative. But what about the Ewingsdale hospital site? According to a staff member who lives adjacent, the area is rarely fog-bound because of its elevated position. Putting a heliport there seems like two problems could be solved at once.
Nick Schaefer, Mullumbimby Creek