Life Flight

Each week 28 people need time-critical aeromedical care. With your support, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Air Ambulance Planes are there in their moment of need.

Meet Abby and Hunter from Nelson


This Nelson-based family are no strangers to Life Flight’s Air Ambulance planes. Both children have relied on your generosity on two separate occasions.

Katrina was urgently flown by Life Flight to Wellington Hospital’s specialist neonatal unit to try and stall the premature labour of her first child – Abby. At only 29 ½ weeks, they needed to delay the birth to give her as much chance of survival as possible.

After getting to Wellington quickly, the staff managed to delay Katrina’s labour for another week before a tiny, fragile Abby was born.

I don’t know if my daughter would have survived. Every extra day in the womb was critical to her survival. It was a rough time.

-Katrina, Mum

Baby Abby in her incubator at Wellington Hospital before heading home with Mum.

After four weeks under the watchful eye of the experienced neonatal team, Katrina was excited to be able to take baby Abby home, but she says, “Abby spiked a temperature and her heart rate went up. I was told, I’m really sorry we have to make sure she’s okay. We had to go back to Wellington, and I had to cancel my wedding.”

On the second attempt a week later, the relieved mum and bub finally made it home to be with Dad Mark.

The family’s second child, Hunter, was also premature but born with Cerebral Palsy. Recently it was Hunter’s turn to be flown to Wellington Hospital for hip surgery, returning home in a full hip cast.

Katrina’s family have grown closer through the difficulties in her children’s early years, “It was a pretty rough start, having two children premature. It definitely brought us together and made us realise, if we can get through this, we can get through anything.”

Thank you so much for giving what you can to support such an amazing service that helps so many people of all ages and from every walk of life. Without your support for an amazing service, a lot of people and children may not be living the life they are today.

– Katrina, Mum

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