LIFESAVERS: Cooran residents Al Brown and Norma Cowan have a lot to thank LifeFlight for.
LIFESAVERS: Cooran residents Al Brown and Norma Cowan have a lot to thank LifeFlight for.

'Might have killed me': Lifeflight praised after near-death morning

AFTER surviving five heart attacks, it seemed there was nothing that was going to slow down 73-year-old Al Brown.

Early on, doctors never gave the Cooran resident much hope of a long, healthy life.

"When I was 33 they told me I've got ten years to live," he said.

Al has enjoyed squeezing every inch out of what life has to offer and proving the experts wrong.

That was until one picturesque quiet morning on the patio of his Cooran home, when the unthinkable almost happened.

Brown passed out after his heart stopped pumping blood through his body.

"The last memory I have is sitting there looking out thinking how beautiful is this," he said.

"I thought, this is heaven on a stick."

LIFESAVERS: Cooran residents Al Brown and Norma Cowan have a lot to thank LifeFlight for.
LIFESAVERS: Cooran residents Al Brown and Norma Cowan have a lot to thank LifeFlight for.

As his partner Norma recalls, she had just come in from the markets when she noticed something wasn't right.

"I came in the door and he was fine but then I looked back and he was breathless," she said.

"The fact I am a nurse I knew exactly what was going on."
Thanks to her nursing background, Norma went straight into performing CPR on her partner.

"I yelled to the neighbour and they got the ambulance," she said.

Norma did CPR on Al for 25 minutes that day, momentarily forgetting this could be the last time she saw her long-time partner.

"I went straight into nurse mode," she said.

The paramedics arrived and that allowed Norma a chance to recover and allow the enormity of what was happening really sink in.

"They had to defib him three times to get him going," she said.

Soon after, the LifeFlight helicopter arrived and Al, who was still unconscious, was on his way to Sunshine Coast University Hospital and thankfully back to the usual larrikin Norma had come to love.

"I drove down in the car," she said.

"When I get into the Emergency Department, I could hear him (Al) chatting away and they all clapped me when I walked in."

Al is adamant if it wasn't for Norma's quick response, the hard-working paramedics and the LifeFlight team, things would not worked out so well.

"I would not have made it," he said.

"I've got goosebumps right now just thinking about it."

"The helicopter took 11 minutes to get from Cooran to Kawana but if I had've went in the ambulance it would've been 45 minutes.

"That might have killed me."

Not long after the ordeal, Al caught up with the LifeFlight doctor which made for an emotional reunion.

"I could've kissed him," Al said.

"He was so excited because the doctors and the medical staff never see the results from a patient."

Al believes he owes his life to Life Flight and now he and Norma give back to the not-for-profit organisation as volunteers.

"Every time those helicopters go out it costs around $12,000, that's why we got on board to help," Al said.

LifeFlight relies on donations from the public and community support at the many events they hold throughout the year, including the LifeFlight Ball in April.

This year's LifeFlight Ball will be held on Saturday, April 4 at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort.

For more information and to get your tickets go to the website.