Former RACQ CareFlight Rescue patient Tarryn Bowers sits in the cockpit with CareFlight pilot Richard Maas.
Former RACQ CareFlight Rescue patient Tarryn Bowers sits in the cockpit with CareFlight pilot Richard Maas.

Teen's rescue hits home for paramedic

WHEN RACQ Careflight Rescue paramedic Anthony Clark was flown to an Aussie Rules match at Pittsworth, he wasn't expecting to be treating a familiar face.

In fact, the teenager in front of Mr Clark was Tarryn Bowers, a player he had watched climb up the Darling Downs AFL ranks since he was a junior player.

Tarryn, 19, was in cardiac arrest after a tackle in the match between the Lockyer Valley Demons and the Goondiwindi Hawks.

Mr Clark and the CareFlight doctor on hand had to put Tarryn into an induced coma before airlifting him. He remained in a coma for a number of days.

But this weekend, Tarryn was back supporting his Lockyer Valley demons team mates - and reuniting with the CareFlight and ambulance crews who helped save his life.

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Mr Clark, who has been a long-time member of the Darling Downs AFL community, said it was rare for a rescue job to hit so close to home.

"It came as a bit of a shock," he said.

"In the early stage it was devastating to know it was a fellow AFL player, and then to know the kid, having followed him up from junior football into senior football, and to realise his dad was a senior player we'd played against a number of times.

"We all expected the worst at the time. It's just surreal to see him so fit and healthy."

Mr Clark said the bystanders who performed CPR at the game and paramedics who quickly arrived had done a "fantastic job".

Tarryn, who lives at Glenore Grove, visited the Toowoomba CareFlight base on Friday with parents Tony and Donna to thank the paramedics and CareFlight crew.

He said it had been a complete surprise to find out he had gone into cardiac arrest, and now had a defibrillator installed.

"I wanted to thank the crews for everything that happened on the day," Tarryn said.

"It was good to see the guys that had pretty much saved my life.

"I'm getting better, just letting everything heal."



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