‘Caring, selfless’ flight nurse taken too soon

A WOMAN who died while taking part in the Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival has been remembered as a wonderful, caring and selfless rescue helicopter flight nurse who dedicated her career to helping others.

Loretto Harvey, 50 of Alice River, collapsed during a 21km trail run last Sunday. It is understood her death was caused by a heart attack.

The Rural Flying Doctor Service said Ms Harvey had been a dedicated flight nurse with the service for more than a decade.

RFDS pilot Andrew Chadwick, a close friend and colleague of Ms Harvey for more than 8.5 years, said the love she shared in her dedication to caring for people at the RFDS extended beyond her patients.

"We have together flown tens of thousands of miles together and hundreds of flight hours," he said.

"We get to see sunrises and sunsets on the same shift and then the reverse, sunsets and sunrises on night shifts. As a crew we both get to witness all the colours and shades of Queensland seasons.

"From the build-up, to the monsoon and cyclonic weather to the change of seasons of the dry and our near perfect conditions of a North Queensland winter.

"Loretto was present in all the seasons, doing what she loved and really excelled in, caring for all people."

 

Loretto Harvey has been remembered for her tireless work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Loretto tragically died during the Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Photo: Supplied
Loretto Harvey has been remembered for her tireless work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Loretto tragically died during the Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Photo: Supplied

 

Mr Chadwick said her colleagues remember her as warm, empathetic and energetic.

RFDS chief executive Meredith Staib said Ms Harvey's compassion and authentic appreciation for the outback and its people were the driving force behind her career.

"Loretto was a wonderful, caring and selfless individual who dedicated her career to helping others in her role as an RFDS Flight Nurse," she said.

"I wish we could thank Loretto for dedicating 10 years of her extensive nursing career to the Flying Doctor and the amazing patients who she helped every day.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of her passing our most heartfelt sympathies go out to Loretto's family, friends and all of her Flying Doctor colleagues in this incredibly difficult time."

A spokesman for the Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival said Ms Harvey was an avid runner and competed regularly in local events.

"She was participating in a sport that she loved, and athletes have recalled her kind words and friendly encouragement during the recent trail run event," he said.

"She will be remembered for her passion for running, her kind spirit and her genuine desire to support others."

The Townsville Triathlon and Multisport Festival spokesman also commended athletes and first responders who had the courage and consideration to stop their race and provide CPR to Ms Harvey.

"Loretto's life partner Woody has expressed his gratitude and overwhelming appreciation to this group of athletes as well as the attending emergency services," he said.