Max says Thank You for Helping Save His Life


Max's story, in his own words:

Living on a lifestyle property in the sunny Eastern Bay of Plenty that seems to be under the flightpath of Rescue Choppers, I often think of the unfortunate casualties that are being cared for by the crews as they fly overhead.

Even being a donor to the helicopter rescue services I never thought one day I would be one of those casualties - until New Year's Eve 2021.

After a busy morning cutting firewood on the last day of 2021, I decided to stop for a lunch break before I moved onto the next job on my list.

I turned on the TV to watch a darts match on Sky only to find no signal due to "atmospheric conditions".

Looking outside and seeing only blue sky and no clouds, I went onto my deck to check the satellite dish - bad decision. 

As I leaned over the wooden deck railing, I lost my balance and felt myself tipping forward. I realised that I had reach the point of no return once I heard a loud crack as the wooden railing gave way.

Years ago I enjoyed the sport of skydiving but on this freefall I did not have a parachute. This drop was only about three metres, but the landing was not smooth. 

I somehow managed to pick myself up and stagger a few metres to get inside, but then immediately collapsed onto the floor in extreme pain and struggling to breathe.

Luckily my phone was still in my pocket, it survived the fall better than me, so I was able to call my son and 111 for help.

After what seemed like hours but was only half an hour my son and an ambulance arrived.

The ambulance crew packaged me up and the call was made to transport me to Whakatane Hospital helipad to rendezvous with the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter. What a relief it was to hear that wonderful machine land.

In a very short time, the excellent crew had loaded me into the chopper, and we were lifting off.

In no time at all (as opposed to a long and painfully bumpy road trip) we were landing at Tauranga Hospital where I stayed for the first five nights of 2022. I had several broken ribs and a punctured lung.

I am well on the road to recovery and have a model of the chopper I rode in on my desk at work, to remind me of the great service these crews provide.

I would like to thank all the people involved in my care. I strongly encourage everyone to donate to the rescue helicopter services we have in New Zealand because...

"One day you or one of your loved ones may be that casualty flying overhead." - Max