Manly West Mum Shares Life-Saving Experience with Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctor Service
Photo Credit: RFDS/Facebook

Marlene Antonovich, a mum from Manly West, once experienced first-hand the life-saving care provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Recently, the RFDS held an aircraft simulator showcase at Woolworths Manly West, where she currently works, and the grateful mum is pleased and proud to share her experience with everyone,



Marlene had some complications and developed HELLP syndrome in the 34th week of her pregnancy. This life-threatening condition, which refers to Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets, is a variant of preeclampsia. This meant that mum and baby were at risk of losing their lives unless they get medical attention right away.


At that time, the mother was still living in the port city of Bunbury in Western Australia with no access to a neo-natal unit. However, RFDS was able to help with her transfer to a specialised facility in Perth, where she was able to safely deliver her daughter.

Royal Flying Doctor Service
Photo Credit: Supplied

On the RFDS flight, Marlene feared for her baby’s life but was comforted by the experienced team on board. “The nurse was really reassuring, she said ‘it’s ok, it’s just the medication,’” Marlene said. “The nurse made eye contact during the flight which was really good – just a look was enough to say that I was going to be okay.”


Marlene, Royal Flying Doctor Service
Photo Credit: Supplied
Photo Credit: Supplied

Today, Marlene’s daughter is all grown up and has been enjoying her life in Brisbane. She is also greatful that Woolsworth has initiated a fundraiser to support RFDS, as this will give families like Marlene’s better access to healthcare services across the country.

What is the RFDS?

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has been around for more than 90 years to help people in rural and remote areas. Reverend John Flynn established the initiative in 1928 to grow into the world’s largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisation. 

RFDS provides 24-hour aeromedical emergency services that can reach anywhere, no matter how remote, within hours. They also offer telehealth consultations, fly-in fly-out GP and Nurse clinics, mobile dental services, patient transfers, and other health services. 

The organisation has nearly 2,200 staff and volunteers. While RFDS receives government support, they also rely on private donations that go to purchasing and upgrading medical supplies and equipment, as well as maintenance and replacement of the air ambulance services. 



In early June, the RFDS brought their flight simulator to Woolworths Manly West at the corner of Manly And Hargreaves roads as part of the donation drive.

Royal Flying Doctor Service flight simulator
Photo Credit: Supplied

To learn more about RFDS, visit their official site.