The Road Ahead : June July 2012
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 71 JUN/JUL 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD RACQ INSURANCE MEMBER ESSENTIALS THE PLAN WAS simple: tow the caravan to Campbelltown, New South Wales, for a few running repairs before continuing to Victoria for a holiday. It was a trip RACQ members Paul and Sue Donnan had taken countless times in their 11 year history of caravanning. Unlike those trips, however, this one would change their lives forever. Towing their 23ft caravan along the Melba Highway earlier this year, the Donnans encountered a fierce storm, which resulted in the loss of the vehicle's reversing camera. An emergency pit-stop in Mansfield revealed that the camera had not just malfunctioned, but been torn off completely along with the bicycle rack and the couple's bicycles. Once the storm passed, the Donnans headed to Shepparton where Paul had arranged to have a new camera fitted. By the time they pulled into the Victoria Lakes Holiday Park, Paul was more than ready for few days R&R. The next morning while Sue enjoyed her morning cuppa in the van, Paul set about unpacking the car. The next thing the 66 year-old remembers is waking up on the ground, unable to breathe. "I couldn't call out to Sue because I couldn't breathe," Paul said. "I rolled over to the van and kept tapping on the side to try and get her attention." Sue recalled the moment she saw her husband of 47 years lying on the ground, struggling to breathe. "I took one look at him and thought he'd been electrocuted -- he'd been fine when he walked out of the van," she said. "He was grey and couldn't breathe, but he couldn't tell me what was wrong." Sue frantically called triple zero and within minutes an ambulance arrived. Paul was rushed to Shepparton Hospital where emergency doctors diagnosed him as having had a heart attack. After spending five days in Shepparton Hospital, Paul was transferred to the coronary care ward of The Royal Melbourne Hospital, where an angiogram showed he would need a triple bypass. With no history of heart problems, the news came as a shock to the active retiree. Sue, meanwhile, was stranded in Shepparton with no idea of how she was going to get the caravan back to their home on the Gold Coast. That's when she decided to call RACQ Aussie Assist. It was then Sue met her 'lifesaver', RACQ service consultant Joan Coppins. Paul has been a member of RACQ since 1962, and the experienced caravanners have been insured with RACQ for as long as they can remember, but what happened next took even them by surprise. In addition to arranging for the Donnans car and caravan to be transported back to the Gold Coast, Joan helped Sue organise and pay for transfers, accommodation in Melbourne and flights home. "All I had to do was pack the van and lock it," Sue said. "They (RACQ) took care of everything." After spending a month in hospital, Paul was well enough to return home. Soon after, RACQ delivered their car and caravan. "You pay for insurance, but you don't realise you get Aussie Assist as well," Sue said. "Joan was my lifesaver." For Joan, it was all in a day's work. "The object is to find out what the situation is, and how we can help them," she said. "I enjoy helping people and solving problems." Without Aussie Assist, Paul and Sue would have been out of pocket more than $3000. But for Paul, the money saved wasn't what was important. "Aussie Assist took all the pressure off Susie," Paul said. "I just wanted to make sure Susie was okay, so it was a relief for me too." WHAT IS AUSSIE ASSIST? Aussie Assist is an additional benefit provided at no extra cost with RACQ Comprehensive Car Insurance. It is an emergency assistance service designed to give medical or travel help when you and/or your family are travelling in Australia, more than 100 km from your home. In fact, Aussie Assist can help you out with almost anything that might go wrong while you're travelling. Aussie Assist can provide: • Travel assistance. • Emergency expenses. • Medical assistance. • Assistance in sourcing spare parts in the case of vehicle breakdown. • Transportation costs. • Bereavement expenses. For more information visit www.racq. com.au/insurance/aussie_assist. You pay for insurance, but you don't realise you get Aussie Assist as well ... Joan was my lifesaver.
April May 2012
August 1st 2012