WHEN a Bundaberg casual employee slipped three discs in her back, she felt sure her dream job would slip away too.
But she got the shock of her life when her boss kept her position opon - for 10 months.
Caitlin Fogarty, 22, started work as a security screening officer at the Bundaberg Airport in September last year.
But barely four months into the job Miss Fogarty severely injured her back.
"I just woke up one morning and couldn't walk," she said.
"My back was extremely sore and I went to the hospital."
Miss Fogarty was told she had three slipped discs in her back and was unable to work.
"I was depressed. I love my job - it's what I want to do for the rest of my life," she said.
Shattered, Miss Fogarty broke the news to her supervisor at the airport, Jan Slade.
"I thought I would lose my job if I couldn't work for long periods of time," Miss Fogarty said.
But to her absolute shock and delight her position remained open.
"She's a good worker and she always has been - right from the first day she started," Ms Slade said.
Ms Slade said work was hard with one fewer employee, but called Miss Fogarty weekly to see how she was doing.
"And she kept up to date with the training so it was easy to bring her back in," Ms Slade said.
Miss Fogarty has now returned to work and said she was given the warmest welcome from her boss.
"She was excited and happy that I was back," Miss Fogarty said.
"She treats us like she would her own kids."
Ms Slade smiled at this comment.
"They called me the mother of the airport," she laughed.