Doctor flown in to deliver baby born during peak of floods

As the dangerous weather bore down on the Scenic Rim last week, a ray of sunshine shone over Beaudesert Hospital with the birth of a child at the peak of the floods.

But it was not all smooth sailing, with a nearby doctor needing to be flown in by helicopter to help deliver Isla Lancaster on Friday, March 31.

Isla’s father Joshua Lancaster drove through the rainy weather and took several detours to get his partner Elizabeth Mclean safely to the hospital.

“We were a little worried about what would happen if we didn’t get to the hospital or if something went wrong and we’d have to go to a different hospital,” she said.

Ms Mclean said under all circumstances, the staff at the hospital handled themselves well and were so concerned for them.

“She’s beautiful and we’re very thankful, we were one of the lucky ones where it wasn’t more serious,” she said.

“Everyone said we should have called her Debbie or Storm, I suppose she was always going to be either the flood baby or the April fools baby so it was one or the other.”

Beaudesert Hospital’s nursing and midwifery director Jacquie Smith said all the staff had a very eventful week, especially Doctor Chandra Tennakoon who was flown in to deliver the “flood baby”.

“The reason they choppered him in because he couldn’t drive through the water,” she said.

“He was rostered on to work and if he hadn’t have come in then our doctors, who had already been there for hours on end, would have been really fatigued,” she said.

She said she was proud at how staff handled themselves during the floods as services continued.

“Emergency services and inpatient services were as normal but for safety of other patients, we cancelled outpatient services but checked up on them over the phone,” she said.

Ms Smith said staff prepared to be flooded in after noticing the unpredictable weather.

“We decided to keep stocking up on supplies and of course we eventually did get flooded in and fortunately we did that because we needed it,” she said.

Ms Smith said most staff members stayed in the hospital for 24 hours or longer, while she had to stay for four days.

“Even though it was hard staying away from our homes and families, we kept our spirits up,” she said.

“It showed how resilient people we are and what a team we are.”