Tina thanks you for her life-saving flight


Last November, Tina was at home in Foxton Beach, completely unaware that her day was about to take an unexpected and dramatic turn. 

“I believed I was in good health without any problems, but suddenly everything changed in a moment. I experienced a severe heart attack and was incredibly lucky my husband Lloyd was home and immediately rang 111.,” Tina says of her frightening situation. 

Thankfully for Tina, Foxton Beach is a small, well-serviced community, and emergency services arrived quickly.  Because of Tina’s remote beachside location, the Grassroots Trust Rescue Helicopter was also dispatched. 

“As the rescue helicopter landed at the nearby airfield, I was transferred from the ambulance to the helicopter. I recall the entire experience, feeling scared and uncertain about my well-being. According to the medics, I was classified as a Status 1 and was in critical condition. 

“I didn’t hear the helicopter come in, but boy was I pleased to see it at the airfield. 

“Once I was onboard, I felt a mixture of emotions. I was relieved to have Critical Care Flight Paramedic Rene looking after me but also felt fear and panic about the unknown future. However, Rene managed to calm me down,” says Tina.

CCFP Rene worked quickly to stabilise Tina for her short 30-minute life-saving flight to Wellington Hospital, while Tina’s husband Lloyd drove the 1hr 30min drive from Foxton to Wellington Hospital - one of the most difficult drives he's ever experienced due to the uncertainty of what awaited him at the hospital.

Tina required urgent stent surgery and has recovered well since her November ordeal. “My recovery has gone so well it feels like nothing actually happened!

“I have had a couple of meltdowns, but I am sure things will get better in time.  If I think about what happened, it does still get me now and then – it's a bit overwhelming,” Tina says.

“My situation does just show you how important it is if you don’t feel well to ring 111 straight away. Minutes really do matter, and I certainly couldn’t be without the work of the rescue helicopter crew. They are our Angels sent from Heaven. The crew Rene, Sam and Lance will always hold a special place forever in my heart,” says an appreciative Tina.

Tina wants to encourage everyone to donate to their rescue helicopter. “You never know when you will need them, but when you do, the rescue helicopter can get you where you need to be so much quicker.”