There’s no doubt Tia McGovern is a ‘model’ daughter. She’s also incredibly grateful to the people and service which helped save her mum’s life.
The attractive 14-year-old Moranbah State High School student has dedicated her spare time and efforts to raise funds for the region’s rescue helicopter service which helped save her mum’s life nine years ago.
As an entrant in the RACQ CQ Rescue 2016 Model Search with the chance to be discovered by an international modelling agency, Tia is adamant she isn’t interested in a career on the catwalk nor fame and stardom. She simply wants to help her mum’s saviours.
“Mum had told me about the model search and that it raises vital money for the rescue helicopter and I just wanted to do it for her,” Tia said. “Because without them, my mum wouldn’t be here today.”
Melanie McGovern was airlifted from Glenden on October 29, 2007, suffering an extremely dangerous ectopic pregnancy. Her husband Danny had just come home from nightshift when the couple realised something was very wrong and presented to the doctor who immediately called for the rescue helicopter.
Melanie required a full blood transfusion and at one point, her blood pressure was so low she was barely alive.
“She had a couple of bags of blood before the flight – if the helicopter didn’t bring that blood she would never have made it,” Danny said. “The doctor said she was within minutes of death.”
Melanie remembers the RAC! CQ Rescue helicopter crew arriving “so cool, calm and collected”. She clearly recalls being belted in the stretcher in the chopper and the kind paramedic who held her hand to reassure her at one of the most terrifying moments of her life.
“I wouldn’t be here if not for the helicopter crew,” Melanie said. “My surgeon in Mackay said she was surprised I even survived.”
Melanie was thrilled and very pleased to be able to say ‘thank you’ when two of the helicopter crew visited her in Mackay Base Hospital days after her ordeal.
The McGovern's, residing in Moranbah, describe their second daughter Danika, 6, as their ‘miracle baby’, born in 2010, three years after Melanie had her fallopian tube removed as the result of the ectopic pregnancy.
As part of the model search, Tia had already raised her entry fee of $250 and an extra $750 for the charity by selling fundraising chocolates and creating a Facebook sponsorship page.
The event, organised by Mackay-based Brooke Lee Modelling and to be held at the MECC on June 4, attracted 91 competitors and raised $28,000 for RACQ CQ Rescue last year.
Melanie said she was incredibly proud of her teenage daughter was participating in the 2016 search and helping raise much-needed funds. After all, her story was the perfect example of how vital the rescue helicopter service was to the region, she said.
“It’s just so reassuring to have this kind of service available if you ever need it,” Melanie said.
“I still get goosebumps whenever I see the chopper flying overhead – it’s mixed feelings really. I’m glad they are here and available to help but it’s a reminder that there’s also someone, somewhere who really needs their assistance,” she said.
“The rescue helicopter is the kind of service you always want to be there, but hope you never have to use it. To me, the real heroes are the people and businesses who get behind the rescue helicopter and help support and fund it. They really also helped save my life,” Melanie said.