Meet Katie-Jane from Upper Hutt
“Life Flight has been there for me since that first day,” says Katie-Jane, who broke her neck, leg, back and shoulder and lay by the side of a remote road for six hours until searchers finally found her.
“One of the crew members came to visit me in hospital. I don’t remember that, I have memory loss from a two-month period around the accident and only now, 10, years later, am I starting to get snippets of memory back.
“Once I was released from hospital, I had nine months of recovery in rural Whitemans Valley, living alone, with no support network. I contacted Life Flight and they arranged for me to meet all of my crew from that day. They became my safety guard and helped me piece things together; the situation they arrived to, what happened next; how they stabilised my neck and made sure there was no movement – my neck break meant one wrong move and I would likely have been paralysed; the care I received right through to getting to hospital and how someone held my hand all through the flight. That was very valuable for me.”
In the months of recovery that followed, the crew stayed in touch.
“They would check in on me, to see how I was getting on and as soon as I could I started to volunteer with them. I’ve become part of the Life Flight family – and probably part of the furniture too.”
Katie-Jane started out by guest speaking on behalf of the trust, sharing her story.
“That’s about helping people understand how important the service is, how many people it has helped and that so many people are still here today because of them.
“I also volunteer for open days and welcome people. I take annual leave every year for their Street Appeal and do the whole day 8am to 8pm and I share my story with potential donors or people looking to help in other ways.
It’s a service you might not think about much until you are completely vulnerable and in need of it and time is critical. My body was shutting down in shock. If I hadn’t made it to specialist treatment, I wouldn’t be here. I’m living my best life today and that’s because of Life Flight.
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