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Drama of illness; of Bishop's
BEAUTIFUL STUDY of Joyce Burgmann, brilliant young teacher,
who became ill at Armidale.
BISHOP BURGMANN, of Goulburn,*
"missionary" for aerial ambulances. M
JOYCE BURGMANN gently lifted from
the plane which brought her nearly 400 miles to a Sydney hospital.
Hf*. Hu riß munn \s plea far air u itt bu lu n c f* and "btuuti bu nhs'
The long and serious illness of Joyce Burgmann, 21 -year-old daughter of Bishop Burgmann and Mrs. Burg mann, of Goulburn, stresses the need in country towns of aerial ambulances and "blood banks" for transfusions in the case of the desperately ill.
THE time factor is so vital
in extreme illness and the ease of aerial transportation so helpful to the patient," said Bishop Burgmann in a special
interview last week.
As he quietly related the story of Joyce's illness, Bishop Burgmann described a series of incidents that showed how the drama of the situation de- veloped to its crisis.
"The readiness of blood donors was amazing," he said. "Hundreds of offers were received when donors were called on to provide blood for Joyce.
"All her friends, and even strangers, came forward. It was almost overwhelming," (said Mrs. Burgmann, who, with her husband, was waiting at the hospital to see their daughter.
"Joyce, who is one of five children, graduated with first-class honors in Arts at the Sydney University in 1938, when she was 19.
"Her special subject was psy- chology," said Dr. Burgmann.
"She did her Diploma of Educa- tion in 1939, and was anxious to do work in which she could apply her knowledge of psychology.
"She joined the Education Depart- ment and was sent to the Parra- matta Central School.
"Early this year she was sent to Armidale to relieve the English lec- turer at the Teachers' Training Col- lege, who had enlisted in the A.I.P.
"She became ill and went into the Armidale Hospital on June 19.
"Her illness was diagnosed a.s acute ulcerative colitis.
"After she had been in hospital for a fortnight my wife and I went to Armidale to be near her, and wc have been there ever since.
"On July 6 her doctor decided that a blood transfusion was neces- sary.
"A pathologist was taken from ' the Tamworth Hospital to Armi
dale to type the blood that wa«
"Her brother Victor and I both volunteered with the hundreds of others, and I was chosen to be thc
"Six hundred cubic centimetres, or approximately a pint, of my blood was given to Joyce that day.
"I can assure other possible donors that I felt no ill-effect whatever beyond a slight weakness that passed off in half an hour or so, and I preached next day at the
"On July 12 a second transfusion was given by the Rev. A. E. James.
"On July 17. Victor was the donor, and the Rev. James gave the fourth transfusion on August 1.
"The change in Joyce after her transfusions was miraculous," said Dr. Burgmann.
He paid a tribute to the doctors and nursing staff of the Armidale Hospital.
"She just couldn't let them down." he said simply.
"We should stress the import- ance of making blood transfusions available at all big country hospitals. The idea of a 'blood bank' is won- derful . . . Many lives might bc saved in peace as well as in war.
Hard to get plane
"AS a result of the fourth trans A fusion it was felt that the time had come for further measures to be taken, and after consultation with a Sydney specialist we de- cided to bring Joyce to Sydney by aeroplane, the only possible method by which she could be transported nearly 400 miles.
"We met with considerable diffi- culty at first in our attempts to make suitable arrangements for a plane
"However, eventually I rang my brother In Newcastle and asked il he thought the Newcastle Aero Club could provide a plane for the
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illness of Bishop9s tltiuyhtt>r
Continued from Poge 4
" TT was done in the least possible
time. On Saturday morning, August 3, I rang him again to say that it had been raining in Armidale and there might be trouble in land- ing the plane.
"He replied that the pilot would be leaving in half an hour and would arrive at 2 o'clock.
"We drove out to the aerodrome, which was only a paddock, and lit a fire, so that by its smoke the pilot would know where to land.
"Joyce was brought the four miles in the ambulance, and at exactly five minutes to two the plane ar- rived and landed safely, combining splendidly with the ambulance work.
"Joyce was carried into the plane, which held only the pilot, the patient, and her doctor.
"After a call at Newcastle for fuel the plane arrived in Sydney at 5.45 p.m.
"We followed by car and on our arrival on Sunday Joyce was able to tell us that she had not felt the slightest discomfort from the plane trip, in spite of her very weak
Bishop Burgmann considers that it is impossible to give sufficient praise to the system of blood trans- fusions and the transportation of patients by aeroplane when long distances have to be covered.
"We ail know of the fine work of the flying doctors in outback areas," he said.
"Would it not be splendid to have available in our main cities an aerial ambulance which could be called upon to transport patients from small country hospitals to cities where the latest equipment is avail- able for any treatment?
"Since Joyce has been in Sydney her condition has satisfied her doc- tor and we see a little improvement each day.
'Tn the last six weeks we have seen wonderful examples of the power of personal friendship.
"If only nations could learn to mobilise goodwill and readiness to help in kindly ways," said Bishop Burgmann.
"We MUST find the way to do
it . . ."