John says a huge “thank you”


An active guy, John suddenly found himself in urgent need of the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, in September 2021.

Waking in the night, John knew he needed help.

“When I look back at the events of that afternoon, I am now much more aware of what to look out for when dealing with the heart!” says John of his experience.

John had come home after helping on the local Lake Taupo Sailing Patrol Boat.  “I thought I had pulled the muscles in both my arms” explains John.

“My symptoms were more of a feeling of pulled muscles in both my arms. I now tell people the ad on TV about heart attack symptoms, can be more than a sore left arm and pain in the heart,” says John when talking about his heart condition.

John’s wife Bronwen drove him to Taupo Base Hospital at 4:00 am. From there he was transported by road to Rotorua Hospital, and then quickly flown by the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

“From my trip up to Rotorua Hospital from Taupo with Health Shuttle, going over many potholes on the State Highway, the upgrade to the Greenlea Chopper to Waikato Hospital was great!

I was told the flight to Waikato Hospital was going to be a little bumpy, but I can assure you the ride in the Shuttle from Taupo to Rotorua was like being in the back of a concrete mixer, so I was very relieved when I was given an upgrade via the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter with the crew,” explains John of his very timely flight.

“I know it's a team effort but special thanks to Critical Care Flight Paramedics Rob K and Rob M, they were very professional in their approach to me," a very grateful John says.

“I would like to express my appreciation to the Greenlea Crew who transported me from Rotorua Hospital to Waikato Hospital. I returned home to Taupo after having a stent fitted and am now on the road to recovery.   At present, I’m on a new drug trial with Waikato DHB that I understand will be a game-changer. I am forever grateful for the care and attention I received.”

John is now getting back into being active again with swimming, sailing on the lake, and is back on his mountain bike having recently completed the 60km Twin Coast ride in Northland.

After his experience, John urges everyone to contribute to their local rescue helicopter. “You never know when you will need it!”