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Gabby receiving the donated defibrillator from Maryborough Lions Club

MDHS educator Gabby receives award and donated defibrillator

Friday 22nd September, 2023

Gabby is our new Clinical Lead Educator. And she’s pretty awesome. Not only is she a highly qualified and experienced registered nurse, Gabby also volunteers for GoodSAM, a service which connects trained responders with people who have experienced a cardiac arrest (also known as a heart attack).

Gabby MDHS Clinical Lead Educator

Gabby can receive a phone notification at any hour of the day or night. She then jumps in the car and travels up to 20kms to assist.

Due to our regional location, Gabby is often able to arrive faster than an ambulance. Gabby’s training enables her to give the person life-saving CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Gabby is part of a special family. Her mum Ann Maree has worked at MDHS, as a community health palliative care nurse, for over 30 years. Gabby’s sister Jess is also a nurse and GoodSAM volunteer.

Gabby says she was inspired to work and volunteer in health as both her parents have heart issues. Twenty years ago, her mum had a heart attack and a cardiac arrest while at work and thanks to the amazing care she received from the urgent care team, she survived.

During the 5 years Gabby has volunteered with GoodSAM, she has accepted a callout 22 times. Jess, who is also located in Maryborough, has accepted 32 alerts! (There is a bit of friendly competition between the sisters!)

This year, the 10 year anniversary of GoodSAM was celebrated in the UK, where the initiative originally began. The celebration included the global partners of the program and Gabby and Jess, along with two other Victorian responders, were recognised by the GoodSAM team and received an award for their outstanding contributions to the program.

Plus, to further aid Gabby’s ability to provide life-saving care, the Maryborough Lions Club has generously donated a defibrillator for Gabby to carry with her at all times. Thank you Maryborough Lions Club!


Photo caption: Maryborough Lions Club presents the defibrillator to Gabby. Back row L-R: Gabby, Kelli (Ambulance Victoria). Front row L-R Jenny, Judith, Lorraine and Patricia from Maryborough Lions Club.

Gabby's defibrillator presentation by the ladies at Maryborough Lions Club

What’s a defibrillator? It’s a device that gives an electric charge or current to the heart to help it start beating again, when someone has experienced a cardiac arrest.

When defibrillators can be accessed and used as early as possible in these situations, the chance of survival greatly improves.

Next month is Shocktober which is a month-long campaign to highlight the importance of learning CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

We are so lucky to have Gabby at MDHS heading up our clinical education and sharing her amazing knowledge and experience with our team.

Aside from her family connection, Gabby is no stranger to MDHS, as she initially completed her graduate year in 2008 with us.

Since then Gabby spent 14 years working at Bendigo Health to fine tune her life savings skills in their Emergency and Intensive Care departments.

Gabby went on to study a Masters in Clinical Education while working for Monash University teaching medical students and contributing to their preparation for a career in healthcare. Gabby has now decided to focus her work on the education of her healthcare colleagues at MDHS.

Thank you so much Gabby (and Jess!) for all you have done for your community and a huge thank you to Ambulance Victoria for your incredible work saving lives every day.