Quick action gets FIFO heart attack victim back on the job

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Warren Jones
Camera IconWarren Jones

A fly-in, fly-out employee from Collie who works at a mine site in the East Pilbara is back at work just one month after suffering a heart attack.

Warren Jones, 57, woke up after night shift at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine, 400km south-east of Hedland, on November 14 with severe chest and shoulder pain, as well as shortness of breath.

The medical team at the mine conducted emergency medical assessment and treatment under the supervision of a Royal Flying Doctor Service medical officer over the phone, while a plane about to leave Broome for Meekatharra was diverted to the remote mine.

Mr Jones was then flown from the mine to Royal Perth Hospital, where an angiogram was performed, revealing a 90 per cent blocked artery, with a stent put in the next day.

“I felt brilliant right from that moment — I was up and walking around the ward, and they sent me home the next day,” he said.

Mr Jones said he was approved to return to work on December 16. “I’ve changed a lot of my habits, I haven’t had a cigarette or a vape since, and I’m exercising more — I’ve never been an exercise junkie, but I’m walking and using the exercise bike,” he said.

Mr Jones said he had heard the RFDS “come and go frequently” at his Collie home, but never thought about the service.

“They are so important, and there’s a lot of people that wouldn’t survive without them,” he said.

“The major medical services are in the cities, so it is a fantastic mode of transport and care that saves a lot of people’s lives.”

RFDS head medical doctor Andrew Hooper treated Mr Jones and said it was a time critical patient scenario in which every second mattered.

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