It was around 2.45am when I heard a strange gasping sound coming from the hallway.
Still half asleep, I stumbled out of bed and turned the corner to see the outline of my five-year-old, hunched over, staggering towards my bedroom door.
“Mummy, I need air” was all he could manage to wheeze out and, in that instant, I was wide awake and racking my brain to figure out how I could fix this.
It is every parent’s worst nightmare to find themselves in a situation where they are powerless and I will never forget his wide eyes as panic set in and he continued to struggle for breath while simultaneously gagging because his little airways were so swollen closed.
This had come clean out of the blue. No telltale snotty nose, niggling cough or fever that would suggest his little body was battling with a virus of some kind.
He had woken up unable to breathe and was burning up with a temperature of 41 degrees, seemingly out of nowhere.
It is times like this that make me so grateful for the first-class medical services we have on the Sunshine Coast. Although we live more than 25 minutes away from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, an ambulance with empathetic and highly professional paramedics arrived in just 10.
In fact, the moment I told my son the ambulance was coming, the panic left his eyes and he began to marginally relax, such was the impression the paramedics had left on him from a previous hospital visit.
The whole chain of care is incredible and our paramedics, who stabilised my son on route to the hospital, handed us over to a team of incredible nurses and doctors who kept us in for observation.
Far from being just another patient in room three, they engaged both my son and I with conversation and reassuring words and kept me informed about everything they were doing and what the next steps were whenever they came in to check up on him or administer more medicine.
And that special treatment is not just reserved for cute kids. I had an emergency appendectomy early last year and although I was a nervous wreck, having never undergone any form of surgery before, everyone from the surgery prep team to the nurses, who were on hand to bring me back to reality once I was back in the recovery ward, were beyond reproach.
The Coast has thousands of general practitioners, specialists, paramedics, air rescue crews and those who serve on our waterways, all helping us through some of the most difficult health challenges or accidents and we don’t often take pause to recognise the feats these superheroes perform every single day.
So from my family and the wider community, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do.