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   Jul 05

Mother and daughter running for their rescuer in City2Surf

Bond: Rescue crew officer Samantha Law (left) with Margo Murphy and Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Brendan EspositoMargo and Stephanie Murphy share more than just a family bond. The mother and daughter both owe their lives to the Westpac rescue helicopter, being saved in separate incidents 25 years apart.
Nanjing Night Net

Now the pair will be putting on their running shoes for The Sun-Herald City2Surf, presented by Westpac, to help raise money for the service that saved them.

“We wouldn’t have a family if we didn’t have the helicopter,” Stephanie Murphy said.

Stephanie was only 18-months-old when an accident with boiling water caused severe burns to her chest. Her lungs were also damaged after she inhaled the water.

While Stephanie was raced to Gloucester Hospital, specialist burns treatment wasn’t available, and the rescue helicopter was called.

“They didn’t have the expertise to look after [Stephanie] there, so the helicopter took her to Newcastle Mater Hospital. She spent the next six months in intensive care and two years in a burn suit,” Stephanie’s mother Margo said.

“She wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the rescue helicopter.”

Now 26, Stephanie has forged a successful career with the navy, with the injuries she sustained not holding her back.

“I’ve been with the navy for 10 years … and I can do the things any other normal person can do,” she said.

Almost 25 years after Stephanie was air-lifted to hospital by the Westpac helicopter, her mother needed to be rescued by the same service.

Margo was rescued in January, 40 kilometres off the coast of Jervis Bay on the south coast of NSW on board the tall ship Endeavour, during a voyage from Sydney to Hobart.

With waves reaching almost eight metres, Margo became badly sea sick, causing her to suffer severe dehydration.

“All my body systems just started shutting down, all sorts of things were going wrong,” she said.

“Leaving me on board wasn’t a sensible thing to do so they got a rescue helicopter out.”

Margo was eventually rescued by the helicopter during a lull in the extreme conditions and taken to hospital.

Among Margo’s rescuers was 18-year-old Samantha Law, who was making her first rescue at the time, which she described as “intense.”

“It was quite rigorous, it put you to the test,” she said.

“But you still go through the same processes [during the rescue] as training and that sort of helps you in any situation.”

Ms Law will join both Margo and Stephanie as part of a team running in the City2Surf on August 9 to raise money for the Westpac rescue helicopter.

“I don’t think people realise how important it is until they need it,” Ms Law said.

It’s a service that Margo and Stephanie are all too thankful for.

“Half the family would be gone if it wasn’t for it,” Margo said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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