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18 April, 2022

Friends reunite in unusual circumstances in Weipa

A paramedic was sent back to her home town and ended up working with her childhood best friend.

By Matt Nicholls

THEY grew up together in Weipa but Stevie Barham and Taylah Fleming had no idea they would end up working together.

The pair were reunited in unlikely circumstances when Stevie – now a paramedic for Queensland Ambulance Service – returned to Weipa to fill-in for a week.

A call came in to retrieve a patient from Mapoon and as is usual practice, a nurse from Weipa Hospital was gathered to come along for the ride and lend a hand.

The nurse in this case just happened to be Taylah.

The excitement was palpable when they discovered they were going on a retrieval together, and once they got their nervous giggles and light-hearted quips out of the way, it was time to put their game faces on and attend to the task at hand.

The retrieval went smoothly, and their patient was then transferred to Cairns Hospital for further treatment.

“It was just one of those amazing things that I wouldn’t have even dreamt about,” Stevie told Cape York Weekly.

“Obviously we had a job to do but it was great to be working alongside a lifelong friend.”

Stevie, a former school captain of Western Cape College, was a couple of years ahead of Taylah at school, but they shared many childhood memories.

“We’ve known each other since we were really little and we are still friends today,” she said.

Stevie’s journey to become a paramedic is a strong example to all Weipa students – and Cape kids in general – that it’s not too late to follow your dreams.

“I knew I wanted to be a paramedic but I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it,” she said.

“I started studying pharmacy and didn’t like that and ended up coming back to Weipa to manage the pharmacy.

“But I got some life experience and decided to pursue my dream and went back to university with QCU in Cairns.”

Even after graduating, Stevie still had to sit out for a year with COVID-19 impacting placements for paramedics.

“I did admin for a year to get me through but it was worth it.”

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