Just a drop in the ocean

Some years ago a British sailor became lost after his boat capsized in the Southern Ocean during a solo around the world race.

His name was Tony Bullimore. Somehow he managed to survive for days in a small air pocket under his capsized yacht.  

It was dark, he was alone and the only food he had was a chocolate bar.  

The Royal Australian Navy was sent in to try and rescue this 57-year-old man whose predicament seemed like a mission impossible.

But in what you could only describe as a miracle, he heard the sounds of navy crew knocking on the hull of his boat and the image of him just popping out from under the vessel was streamed around the world.

In the coming weeks, his rescue was hailed a great success but there were also questions regarding the millions of dollars spent in the rescue mission.

Now let’s turn the tables and change a few facts in this story. 

I have a friend who is in a predicament from which it seems impossible for her to recover.

She has Motor Neurone Disease also known as MND. 

She is a mum, she is wife. 

It’s fatal and the odds of survival are currently nil.  

She will lose the use of her limbs, then she won’t be able to eat, won’t be able to talk and finally won’t be able to breathe.  

The average lifespan from diagnosis is just over two years.  These are the facts.

It must feel similar to being in the Southern Ocean, alone in the dark with only limited air and limited time.

National Patron of MND Neil Daniher publicly stated that there are trial drugs that just might be able to slow down the fast and aggressive nature of this horrific disease and give sufferers time for a cure to be found.

But it will cost millions of dollars for those drugs to get out of test tubes, be developed by pharmaceutical companies and placed into the hands of MND sufferers.

Millions of dollars the government is not prepared to spend because, despite it being fatal, not enough Australians have MND and pharmaceutical companies can’t make money on these drugs.

So I am wondering… Should I take my friend to the freezing darkness of the Southern Ocean and drop her in? 

And instead of the government sending in the Navy to save her, how about we give her a life jacket and the trial drugs that just might save her life.

The federal government spent millions to saving the life of a British man in the Southern Ocean. 

So what will they spend to save an Aussie mum?

Surely everyday Australians are just as worthy as a sailor lost at sea.

Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.

Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.