Kasey uses trauma training to avoid tragedy
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Early childhood professional Kasey turns traumatic experience into advocacy

Early childhood professional Kasey turns traumatic experience into advocacy

by Freya Lucas

May 23, 2024

Early childhood professional Kasey Leadbetter is an inspiration to many, having survived being bitten by an eastern brown snake while sleeping.


Venom from eastern brown snakes can induce death in less than half an hour. Thankfully Ms Leadbetter ws supported by LifeFlight, who provided her with helicopter transport to medical attention, getting her to hospital three times faster than if she’d been taken by road in an ambulance.


The 21 year old was working as a nanny on a remote property 300km west of Toowoomba, Queensland, and was alarmed when she saw the snake emerge from her bed sheets. 


She used her trauma first aid training to significantly improve her own outcome while waiting for the helicopter to arrive. 


“Everyone can benefit from trauma training,” she said.


“If people know what to do after a medical emergency, they can help themselves or someone they love before help arrives.”


“As soon as the snake bit me, my whole arm was on fire. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time. I knew I had to keep still. I knew I had to stay calm. I knew I had to get away from the snake and we had to get the pressure bandage on quickly.”


“I knew that if you are bitten by an eastern brown snake, you really only have about 30 minutes to an hour to get medical help,” Ms Leadbetter continued.


“The LifeFlight crew were amazing, but I was also lucky I knew what to do in my medical emergency.”


Ms Leadbetter made a full recovery thanks to the care of LifeFlight and the professionals at Toowoomba Hospital, and will now use her experience to inspire others, and encourage them to complete trauma first aid. 


She was announced as the inaugural First Minutes Matter ambassador at the LifeFlight annual Toowoomba gala, where she was supported by family, friends, and 700 supporters of LifeFlight. 


The event, presented by Followmont Transport, raised a record-breaking $1 million for the charity.


The LifeFlight Toowoomba Gala crowd ‘splashed their cash’ on $300 tickets to celebrate the critical role the LifeFlight aeromedical service plays in the region and toasted to the talented Toowoomba team in a night of fine wine, dining, dancing, auctions and raffles.


Along with Ms Leadbetter’s announcement, Regional Advisory Committee Chair Gus Romero announced the full-time appointment of First Minutes Matter educator Leah Harrison who started trauma training workshops in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland communities last month.


Ms Harrison’s wage and vehicle have been paid for with money raised at last year’s LifeFlight Gala.


Previous pledges have been used to buy life-saving equipment including night-vision goggles and special cots for infants. This year’s pledge will support a much-needed, upgraded on-site sleeping facility for the local aeromedical teams which will ensure even faster arrivals at future medical emergencies.


Mr Romero thanked the organizing committee, Gala partners, and local guests for their support.


“We couldn’t put on a night like this without the tremendous generosity of the volunteers who organize it, local businesses who support it and those who buy tickets and then try to out-bid each other all evening,” he said.


“Our Toowoomba LifeFlight base is the busiest in Queensland and the money raised will ensure it continues to thrive.”


The First Minutes Matter trauma training program is free to access, and has been developed using LifeFlight’s decades of experience. 


This self-paced, online program will equip participants with practical skills for time-critical medical situations while professional help is on the way. 


On completion participants will receive a Certificate of Participation (CoP). Please note that this training is not accredited. LifeFlight delivers this community education program and CoP without any relation to a Registered Training Organisation.

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