The truck Shannon Duncan was driving when he had a heart attack last year.
The truck Shannon Duncan was driving when he had a heart attack last year.

Truckie driving triple road train suffers heart attack

EIGHT days out from Christmas last year, Mandurah truck driver, Shannon Duncan, was looking forward to returning home from Kununurra to celebrate his son's 10th birthday and enjoy the festive season with his family.

As he steered his triple road train down a stretch of the Great Northern Highway the longest highway in Australia - things suddenly took a dramatic turn.

He began to experience worrying symptoms: shooting pain down his arm; stiff shoulders and trouble breathing.

What would unfold over the next few hours would be a race to save his life, in which the Royal Flying Doctor Services Western Australia have described in a blog post on its website to highlight the work of the service. 

Shannon had the presence of mind to pull his truck to the side of the road and call for an ambulance.

Shannon Duncan with his son. Shannon suffered a heart attack while driving a triple road train.
Shannon Duncan with his son. Shannon suffered a heart attack while driving a triple road train.

Once paramedics arrived, they confirmed his worst fears: he was experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

They rushed him to Moora Hospital and the nearest Flying Doctor aero medical crew retrieved him to transfer him to Perth for treatment.

But things took a turn for the worse when Shannon went into cardiac arrest upon arrival at the RFDS Jandakot base patient transfer area.

The blog post said he would later learn that he had flat lined for almost four-and-a-half minutes before he was resuscitated.

"The only thing I remember was waking up to a nurse giving me CPR," Shannon told the RFDS.

He was rushed to the Fiona Stanley Hospital, where he had surgery and was discharged from hospital five days later in time to celebrate Christmas with his family.