Getting medical flight to Sydney the biggest challenge yet

Grant Fanily will do anything to get daughter Thyeshya on a flight to Sydney. Pictured are Kohei, 7, Tessah, 3, Thyeshya, 9, Takiyah, 2, with Mother Sam and Dad Ben with Arlee, 1.
Grant Fanily will do anything to get daughter Thyeshya on a flight to Sydney. Pictured are Kohei, 7, Tessah, 3, Thyeshya, 9, Takiyah, 2, with Mother Sam and Dad Ben with Arlee, 1. Mike Richards GLA291013WCHR

TOUGH little Thyeshya Grant is used to life being a challenge - but her supportive family never thought the biggest battle would be catching a plane.

The nine-year-old was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which means her joints are arthritic, and she also lacks muscle mass.

The rare disorder means Thyeshya uses a wheelchair, and she recently had complex surgery in Sydney to treat her club feet.

"We flew down there to have the surgery, and that wasn't so bad - but we knew on the way back she'd be in a lot of pain," mum Sam explained.

"We were meant to get a Royal Flying Doctors' flight, but the day before we were due to leave, we were told they couldn't fly interstate."

Instead, the family had to fly commercial - and fitting into a regular seat was a painful and traumatic experience for Thyeshya, Sam said.

Now, the Clinton State School student needs to head back to Sydney to have wires removed from her feet.

The Sydney doctor is the only AMC specialist in Australia.

The family has unsuccessfully approached RFDS, Wing Away, Angel Flight and Patient Retrieval Services Queensland to get Thyeshya there, and Qantas and Virgin can't find room for her chair. A private flight would cost $7000.

"Now we've spent three weeks trying to sort out a flight, and that seems like it's the biggest challenge yet," Sam said.


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