Tracey's Story


On a clear day in January 2022, Tracey and Tony were enjoying a day out each on their own motorcycles.  Never wanting to live life in neutral, the fun-loving couple regularly get out and about on their bikes exploring the hidden gems and winding roads of the country. 

On this particular January afternoon, the pair were heading back from Havelock North through Taihape, to their home on the outskirts Whanganui. 

Travelling over the hilly windy roads which had been recently damaged by flooding, Tony was in front and the first to come round a bend in the road.  Two lines of gravel had been pushed by the rain onto the apex of the road.  Narrowly missing the gravel, Tony thought to himself “I hope Tracey see’s that".  He slowed once he was clear of the obstacle, looking in his rear mirror, waiting to see Tracey. 

She never came round that bend. 

Coming in the opposite direction was another motorcyclist who, thankfully for Tony, was a nurse.  She slowed to check Tony was ok.  Turning round and coming back up to the bend in the road with the other rider, Tony saw Tracey's motorcycle on the ground and Tracey's body lying in the ditch on the roadside. 

With little time to think and no cell phone coverage where the accident happened, Tony and the nurse pulled Tracey's helmet off and put her in the recovery position. Tony rode down to the nearest house and called for help. 

Emergency services were soon on the scene, and with the help of passers-by slowing and directing traffic in the remote hilly countryside, the sound of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter could be heard on their way in the distance. 

Tracey now had a team of first responders working to stabilise her, and in Tony's words "she was in a bad way, unconscious and needing the help of a breathing bag".   

Police had now closed the road so the rescue helicopter could land.  After about an hour, and with the aid of the rescue helicopter crew, Tracey was stable enough to be airlifted and flown to Wellington Hospital. Time was critical to Tracey’s survival. 

Tracey was taken through for immediate brain surgery and then kept in a coma for 4 days.  Tracey's injuries were extensive, with concussion, a brain bleed, broken ribs, broken bones in her shoulder and a damaged spleen. She was in ICU for 4 weeks and in hospital for 6 weeks. 

Tracey, with the help of the Team at ABI in Porirua came home in a wheelchair, and now only 7 months on from her accident is now walking again and managing her concussion symptoms each day. Tony reckons she shows none of the usual signs of someone with concussion, and in fact says cheekily "she has a better sense of humour than before!"  

Tracey has recently been able to navigate all the MPI paperwork required for her Beekeeping business and is making a fantastic recovery.  Tracey is certain that without the rescue helicopter there that day, she would never have made it to the hospital for her life saving surgery.