Back to all Conference

Bringing light and life to family priorities

Oral Presentation

October 13th 2022 at 5:30pm

Institution: Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service - Queensland, Australia



Queensland is a vast state with travel distances between Brisbane and some towns being as much as 2000 km.  Aeroplane travel can be complex as children requiring PPC (paediatric palliative care) are likely to require an escort in order to provide medical care (e.g. oxygen, suction, seizure management, consideration of seating).


This presentation aims to highlight some of the complexity related in planning for teenage children with significant disability and PPC needs to travel to Brisbane.


Case 1 involved an adolescent girl, A, with severe cerebral palsy and from a Frist Nations Cultural background.  Her foster carer had significant care burden and required respite in late 2016.  There were no facilities or in home supports to provide this locally.  Travelling to Brisbane for this support was explored, but was difficult, due to G not being able to travel on a commercial flight.  It required booking a retrieval aeroplane which would cost significant funds (> $50 000) which was not possible at the time.

Case 2 involved an adolescent boy, B, who also had severe cerebral palsy and was from a First Nationals cultural background.  He was currently cared for in a “care home” and had regular contact with his biological family.  He required a review in Brisbane at the spinal clinic to assess progress of his spine after surgery.  Like A, Transfer by retrieval aeroplane was the only way to transfer him to Brisbane.  Transfer was possible, and he was able to stay in Brisbane for approximately one week for a “specialist short break stay” with his family at Hummingbird House, and able to visit both the spinal clinic, and also the zoo at this time.

[Please note that the case studies have been de-identified]


Both cases demonstrated excellent collaboration between local health services, PPCS and Hummingbird House.  It is interesting to reflect on why the Case of A was not able to travel to Brisbane, while the case of B was successful in making the trip.  It could represent a number of factors, including further development of services, but also the different needs of each specific case.


  • Ainsley Stock

    Nurse Navigator - Hummingbird House

    Read More