ON THE MOVE: Kerri-Leigh and Ben Russell, with children Sean and Sarah, are sad to be leaving Capella after five years as the town’s paramedics.
ON THE MOVE: Kerri-Leigh and Ben Russell, with children Sean and Sarah, are sad to be leaving Capella after five years as the town’s paramedics. Andy Plunkett

Capella ambos bid farewell

SEAN and Sarah Russell have had the kind of happy, carefree childhood in Capella that ticked all the right boxes on their parent's child-rearing wish list.

So there was a real sense of sadness that washed over Kerri-Leigh and Ben Russell when the town's popular paramedic husband-and-wife decided to relocate to the coast and "chase new adventures" that furthered their career opportunities.

"It was a hard decision for us," Ben said in between packing the last of the possessions in to boxes.

"The highlight of our time here, honestly, was just the sense of community.

"It's a term bandied about by every residential developer who puts in a new set of swings, and we didn't understand 'community' until we came here.

"The people were just so inviting and to welcome us into their lives and share those lives with us is what we are going to miss the most."

The family left yesterday for a caravanning road trip before arriving at Maroochydore where Kerri-Leigh and Ben will be stationed.

The good memories are going along for the ride as well.

 

"This town created such a lovely world for our children (Sean, five, and Sarah, seven) who have grown up in Capella," Ben said.

"Sean learnt to walk in this town… now their attitude to life is the world is a wonderful, warm and inviting place.

"It's no secret these experiences as young kids will shape their attitudes for the rest of their lives and we are forever grateful for that.

"The community has been so good to us and so good to our kids - Kerri and I are different people after being here, and better for it, this has shaped our lives and set the kids on a great path."

 

For Kerri-Leigh, the Queensland Ambulance Service's Paramedic of the Year in 2013, the move is a chance to continue her nursing studies.

For Ben, the Maroochydore QAS station offers a work environment thick with highly-skilled intensive care paramedics, a career path he is considering.

"This is part of why we are excited to leave," Ben said. "Plus the kids are growing up and the grandparents are getting pretty itchy for time with them."


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