Enjoying the last few days on holiday in January 2023, Greg took a quick stroll along the Taupo lakefront to grab a coffee. Little did he know that his day would end with him being rushed to Rotorua Hospital.
“My family, friends and I were coming to the end of our summer holiday in Taupo, and we had planned to spend the day on a jet ski, testing out a new foil board.
We were taking turns riding the foil board. After a few runs, it was my turn again, and I was eager to show off my skills. But in an instant, everything changed.
As I tried to manoeuvre the board I lost my balance and crashed hard, impacting with the foil board. I heard a loud snap, which I initially thought was the board, but then I felt a sharp pain in my left leg and knew something was wrong. Sadly, I had broken my left femur. The crew on the jet ski knew something was wrong too and immediately circled around to pick me up.
As they got me onto the jet ski, I realised that I couldn't put any weight on my left leg. The pain was unbearable, and I knew I needed medical attention immediately. We made it steadily back to shore, and my friends quickly made the call to 111.
After a short period, two ambulances arrived at the scene. The paramedics quickly assessed my condition and sedated me to help manage the pain. They made a plan to get me to the hospital, but due to the severity of my injury and the risk of complications, they decided to transport me to Rotorua Hospital using the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter.” says Greg of his situation.
“The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter crew arrived quickly, and after stabilising me, I was carefully lifted into the rescue helicopter. As we flew towards the hospital, the paramedics kept me calm and informed about what was happening. They were incredibly professional, and I felt safe in their hands.
Thanks to the quick response of the ambulance team and the skill of the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter crew, we were able to reduce the transfer time down to 12 minutes compared to over an hour via the bumpy roadwork-ridden SH5. This got me to the hospital where x-rays and surgery could be arranged quickly” Greg says.
“Seven weeks on, I am slowly recovering from my injury. I'm learning to walk again and completing what were previously thoughtless tasks. I can't thank the ambulance team and the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter crew enough. They kept me calm and informed throughout the transition to hospital, and I'm incredibly grateful for their professionalism and dedication. A huge thank you goes out to all those donors who help keep the rescue helicopter crew in the air.
A special thanks to my family and friends who helped on the day, and the weeks after with kids and rehabilitation. I couldn't have done it without them.” says a very grateful Greg.