Woman saves lives for a living, but needs help to save her son
SHE'S spent 20 years saving other people's lives in a job desensitised to pain, sickness and death.
Now she has to save her six-year-old son from that same, grim reality.
Coast woman Amie Kirkwood has served the Sunshine Coast community for two decades as a paramedic for the Queensland Ambulance Service.
But it's time for the region to repay the favour.
Ms Kirkwood's life has come to a screaming halt with her son, Albie's leukaemia diagnosis.
On July 30, she dressed her son ready for school before a quick trip to the doctors to check in on an earache.
Albie had blood tests done, given antibiotics for the ear infection and sent on his way.
That night the mother-of-five received a phone call, telling her to get to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, immediately.
From there, she was hit with the hard news.
Ms Kirkwood hasn't been able to bring Albie home since.
They were rushed to the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital via ambulance to Brisbane so Albie could be admitted and begin chemotherapy.
Ms Kirkwood moved to a leukaemia village near the hospital, away from family and friends, one foot always out the door in case Albie took a turn for the worse.
But her heartache was only just beginning. Two months to the day Albie was diagnosed, her mother died.
Ms Kirkwood said her mother had long-standing liver problems but they hadn't worsened or caused her any problems before her passing.
"She was heartbroken," Ms Kirkwood said.
"We don't know what happened, the news of Albie hit her hard and we think she just couldn't take it.
"All of a sudden, she was gone...it has been so hard."
Ms Kirkwood said it felt like she was living someone else's life.
"It has been so horrific, just trying to get my head around what is going on.
"We were always such a happy and positive family...things like this just don't happen to us."
To make matters worse she had to leave her job to live in Brisbane.
"Albie is bring treated here but his body is so weak right now there is no way I could go back to work," she said.
"His body physically can't fight off any infection, so if I brought something home from work he wouldn't be safe.
"His whole treatment amounts to about three years."
But you don't work in an industry for as long as Ms Kirkwood has without making friends.
Very good friends.
Her emergency service colleagues have stepped up to help out by organising a charity soccer match, all proceeds will go to Ms Kirkwood's family.
Family friend and colleague, QAS paramedic Damo Liddy organised the fundraiser, with the help of Maroochydore police sergeant and his brother Rick.
The soccer match will bring members of the QAS and QPS on field to go head to head, with local firies, SES workers and surf life savers coming to cheer the game on.
Mr Liddy said after learning the news of Albie's diagnosis, he and his colleagues put their heads together to figure out a way to help.
He said if there was anyone more deserving of a helping hand, it was Ms Kirkwood.
"She was always a bright, bubbly and positive person, her and Albie much the same," he said.
"Amie has enjoyed giving back to the community and helping out wherever she can. So we wanted to do something special and give her a helping hand when she needed it the most."
Ms Kirkwood said the charity soccer match was a wonderful idea and she was grateful to her friends.
"Everything is huge help. I am a pretty proud person and like to do things by myself," she said.
"The support has been amazing.
"And being an ambo, of course I want QAS to win. I'm betting on Damo."
There will also be a sausage sizzle, meet and greet with members of the Coast's emergency services, an emergency service vehicle show, CPR awareness and more.
The open day will be held on Sunday at the Sunshine Coast Stadium from 3pm.