Bec’s our Butterfly – Busy Flitting

Posted on 25th July 2016

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Rebecca Uebergang works as the Heart of Australia mobile clinic cardiac ultrasound operator on our fortnightly Far Southwest visits to Goondiwindi and St George.

The 32-year-old mother of one (and another on the way!) also works part-time in Brisbane and Toowoomba, spending lots of time travelling from her home 55km south of Goondiwindi and is a local from the North Star district.

Bec was born across the border in Tamworth and grew up on the Gold Coast, where she studied for a Bachelor of Exercise Science through Griffith University, branching out academically to work on a post-graduate diploma in cardiac ultrasound through the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“I never thought I’d be a farmer’s wife,” she says as she describes her base, a chickpea, barley, sorghum and wheat, sheep and cattle farm she shares with husband Mark, two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Matilda and Mark’s family. She laughs when she tells of how her Heart of Australia patients talk of the “spaceship” – our 25mtrs-long semi-trailer clinic – that rolls into their towns every two weeks.

“The people out there are deeply thankful for the Heart of Australia service because it saves them a big drive, even into Toowoomba,” Bec says. “For them, Toowoomba means two days away from home, Brisbane means three days and overnight and farmers can’t just leave their stock unattended for that sort of time”.

She says her most gratifying outcome on the clinic-on-wheels so far was pinpointing that a patient referred from the local hospital presented with heart valves failing to open properly – a life-threatening situation.

“With that diagnosis, we were able to have the patient airlifted out the next morning (for urgent treatment) and we really felt that we’d achieved something,” Bec says.

Dr Gomes says he’s “thrilled” to have Bec on board as a sonographer and that “we are very keen to source talent for our team from the local communities on our rotation circuit”.

And her future with Heart of Australia? “Well, if he (founder Dr Rolf Gomes) keeps me … I’ll stay, but I might have to duck off for more babies …”.

Interview with Peter MacDonald.

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