INDEPENDENT NEWS

Charlotte's Tribute To Her Dad’s Rescue: Fundraising Efforts To Support Lifesaving Missions

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024 12:07 PM
Charlotte and Paul (Photo/Supplied)
“We will be forever grateful Dad could get to the hospital so quickly because of the rescue helicopter, and straight into theatre for treatment that ultimately saved his life. We were that close to losing him.”
Back in June 2021, Charlotte’s father Paul was involved in a critical workplace accident where his life was forever changed. On a typical day at his busy waste management business in Kawerau, Paul, a seasoned mechanic, was working on a forklift with a faulty part. As he went to go tighten some bolts on the forklift, the 700kg fork attachment suddenly came down towards him. In a desperate attempt to avoid the crushing force, Paul moved backwards, but tripped and fell back landing with his legs out in front of him. The clamp landed on his legs, crushing his knees beneath its immense force.
Paul was rushed to hospital by your rescue helicopter and Charlotte got the call about her father. Not knowing what she was going to face when she got to the hospital, Charlotte drove straight from her home in Cambridge to Tauranga Hospital negotiating traffic to get as quickly to her Dad’s bedside as possible.
“I remember, that as I got the call about his accident, I jumped in the car. At one point I was so stuck in traffic, I considered running the rest of the way to the hospital. I desperately wanted dad to know I was coming”.
Paul had sustained massive crush injuries to his knees, which resulted in his right leg having to be amputated above the knee in a 6-hour emergency surgery. It is thanks to the quick response time of the rescue helicopter and your highly skilled rescue helicopter crew that Paul is alive today.
When the rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene Paul was a Status 1, which is an immediate life threat, and he desperately needed large quantities of blood products to replenish what he had lost. The onboard Critical Care Flight Paramedic (CCFP) Flick, who attended to Paul that day, made the quick crucial call to transport him to Tauranga Hospital urgent care despite the original plan being to take him to Waikato Hospital.
The rescue helicopter crew notified Tauranga Hospital 20 minutes prior to their arrival and when your rescue helicopter landed there was a large trauma team waiting for Paul. Fortunately, Paul’s left leg has healed well. Paul spent a month in the hospital and a further 3 months in a wheelchair.
“Dad & I are just so grateful for not only the care and experience provided on the day, but for the follow-up when we were able to meet Flick two days later whilst Dad was still in ICU.”
“Flick came to find him to make sure he was still alive and kicking, albeit with one less leg than when she’d met him two days prior. She is absolutely Dad’s hero, and he will forever be indebted to her for the lifesaving treatment she provided while in the air that day” says Charlotte.
Since Charlotte's father, Paul, had his accident, she has been dedicated to supporting the rescue helicopter crew and their lifesaving missions. Over the years, Charlotte has organised numerous fundraising events to make a difference. One notable event was a Texas BBQ-style dinner auction, where individuals bid on a chance to enjoy a dinner for 10 people. The top bid was an impressive $1000, raising vital funds for the rescue helicopter. Another successful event was a raffle that offered a BBQ dinner for 20 people as the grand prize. The ticket sales generated an astonishing $2000 for the same worthy cause.
Charlotte expresses her heartfelt gratitude to the rescue helicopter crew that saved her father's life. She encourages everyone to support their local rescue helicopter crew, as you never know when you or a loved one might need their life-saving services.
"Every time I see a rescue helicopter overhead, I almost feel this sense of pride. It's like an angel in the sky - a godsend" says Charlotte.
Missions like Paul’s happen everyday and it’s what happens next that makes the difference… YOU make that difference. Donate to Chopper Appeal today – https://give.rescue.org.nz/event/greenlea-rescue-helicopter/donate

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