“It’s been pretty emotional reflecting on this whole event. It’s absolutely amazing to see how far we’ve come. I’m lucky, and I’m grateful that Life Flight was there for me”
Leisha, Palmerston North mum of 4, was recently interviewed about the time her family needed Life Flight, and what it’s meant for her ever since, watching her daughter grow up and live life.
“She’s just so caring and loving, I don’t know what life would be like without her.”
Ten years ago, a pregnant Leisha and Dad Tony, were preparing the birthday party for their son Jack. It was around 1:00am when the exhausted parents finished decorating and got ready for bed.
Suddenly Leisha felt like something might be off. It felt like her baby was ready. But with 5 weeks still to go on the pregnancy, they were hardly prepared.
They rushed to Palmerston North Hospital, and four hours later, Poppy was born.
Things were going well for the excited family, but after 48 hours Poppy still hadn’t passed her meconium, a crucial sign of a newborn’s health. Since Poppy was premature, the doctors were concerned about what this might mean for her.
The closest hospital that could scan and treat Poppy’s condition was Wellington Hospital, and with 48 hours already elapsed, every moment counted. The decision was simple – The doctors called Life Flight.
Leisha remembers feeling scared and anxious, fearing for her baby’s life.
“It was so daunting having to leave Tony and the kids while the new bubba and I go to Wellington, really unsure what’s going to happen next, but the crew were so friendly and just absolutely amazing.”
After touching down in Wellington, Poppy was sent straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and received the best medical care available over the next week. With help from the expert medical team, Poppy recovered, and Leisha, Tony and the family could breathe easy.
Once Poppy was cleared to return, Life Flight was there to bring them home.
Ten years later, it’s impossible to imagine the family without Poppy. Leisha’s other daughter Britney had an instant connection when Poppy was born because the two looked almost identical. Now, Britney has had her own baby, and thinks “Oh my god, it’s a mini-Poppy!”
Now Poppy is an auntie, and she adores her niece.
Leisha was blown away when she learned that Life Flight’s missions are paid through community donations, and was deeply thankful to everyone who made their flight possible.
In that moment, it felt like a random act of kindness. Someone out there had paid for our flight when we needed it most. We’ve now become regular givers to Life Flight
Read more about Missions overview
Missions overviewDiscover Life Flight's crucial aeromedical missions in New Zealand, providing critical care and transportation with Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Air Ambulance Planes. Explore FY23 highlights, fleet details, and diverse mission types. Support our life-saving efforts today.
Read more about Donate now
Donate nowLife Flight is a not-for-profit that relies on the generosity of the community to keep flying. Your donation will truly help save lives.
Read more about Pilot – Anna
Pilot – AnnaBefore joining Life Flight in 2022, I worked in the Royal NZ Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority. These roles have given me a lot of passion for my job and a dedication to safety. It's special to dedicate those skills to the community now.