When young dad Tim Stanton started organising a trip to Sydney for an important medical appointment for his three-month-old son Jackson, he was buried under a mountain of paperwork.
Jackson was born with bilateral talipes, more commonly known as clubfoot, and needed to get to Sydney on Friday, October 1, to have his existing plasters removed and undergo a small procedure on his Achilles tendons.
However, Mr Stanton found the amount of paperwork required to apply for a travel exemption for Sydney overwhelming.
"Two weeks beforehand we tried filling out all the exemptions, which was just a monumental amount of paperwork," he said.
"They wanted details on where I'd been the last 14 days, and that was just to get in the car and drive.
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"I'd already done a drive to Canberra a couple of weeks before that, and even that distance was very hard - we drove in the middle of a storm, and trying to stop and check on your baby in that circumstance is difficult."
Thankfully for Tim and Jackson, their doctor in Canberra recommended them to Angel Flight, an organisation that provides free aerial travel to families needing important medical treatment.
"Angel Flight contacted us within 24 hours, and they had the paperwork done within three days," Mr Stanton said.
"Anything I had wrong on the paperwork, they just called and fixed it all up, and we got through it all really easily.
"The minute we knew we had a flight, all the stress about the trip just lifted."
Tim and Jackson flew out of Moruya about 8am on Friday morning, and were back home the same day.
"It was the most convenient flight I've been involved in," Tim said.
"Angel flight organised the pilot and a driver in Sydney, all I had to do was turn up with Jackson and a baby seat.
"Once we arrived in Bankstown there was a driver there to take us to Royal Randwick, and once the appointment was over all I had to do was call him and he took us back to Bankstown.
"The pilot was great, very professional - on the way back we kind of got caught between two storms, so we had to go out over the water and there was lightning all around us.
"I'll admit I didn't really like the little plane, especially flying through a storm, but the pilot got us on the ground."
Tim and Jackson's pilot on the day was Paul Sawatzky, a former Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 pilot with Qantas who now lives in Newcastle.
Mr Sawatzky has a Cirrus SR22 based out of Cessnock Airport that he uses for all of his Angel Flights.
"Angel Flight is a volunteer basis, all the pilots and drivers are volunteers," Mr Sawatzky said.
"Angel Flight will cover the fuel expenses, but everything else is volunteered by the pilot.
"I fly a Cirrus SR22 which is a good airplane for private flying. It goes relatively fast and has a modern cockpit with all the latest avionics to make the job easier."
Mr Sawatzky has been flying for Angel Flight for two months now, and said it was great to give back after a career in the cockpit.
"It's great we have an opportunity to give back, and it's good to have a way to use some of my skills to help people," he said.
"On Friday I positioned down to Moruya to pick them up, flew to Bankstown and waited there for the return trip, then flew myself back home to Cessnock.
"It was somewhat lucky they finished their appointment early, because the heavy line of weather was around the Blue Mountains when we left, and we were able to get back to Moruya before it hit hard."
Mr Stanton thanked Angel Flight for helping his family in a time of need.
"I'd recommend it to anyone who may need the service," he said.
"It was the most lovely experience compared to the alternatives we had.
"They were extremely forthcoming and helped us with everything we need."