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 Indie from Nelson

Meet Indie

It should have been the happiest moment of their lives.

Chelsea and Mitch had just welcomed their first child, a baby girl called Indie. But after she was born at the local hospital in Nelson, their first cuddle lasted only seconds. Indie was immediately rushed to the specialist care unit.

The next time we saw her she was in an incubator, with cables everywhere. That was very confronting.

Indie had a serious brain condition, with potentially devastating complications. She needed a complex treatment, but it was only available at the major hospital in Wellington – hundreds of kilometres away. Getting there over land and sea would take over six hours 

But Indie’s condition was fading by the minute. She only had one option – Life Flight.

A Life Flight crew was dispatched to transfer this very young patient – just a few hours old – for the lifesaving treatment she needed. Responding in minutes takes months or even years of planning. Preparation is everything – in the way we train our crews, maintain our aircraft and crucially, renew our fleet

My head was spinning,” says Indie’s dad, Mitch, “But Life Flight were so calm and controlled. They gave us a glimmer of hope.

Indie had developed a condition called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or ‘HIE’ for short. It has the potential to cause severe brain damage, leading to permanent disability and lifelong complications.  

She needed specialised cooling therapy, which involves lowering the body’s temperature to slow down the processes that cause brain damage. 

Our crew carefully loaded Indie onto the aircraft in her incubator and took off, monitoring her condition all the way. The flight took just 27 minutes.

Immediately Indie started treatment to prevent a permanent brain injury. Thankfully it all went smoothly and seven days later, Indie was well enough to return home – again in the capable hands of Life Flight.

Without you, our baby might not be here today,” says Chelsea. “As it is, she’s happy and healthy, with no signs of complications.

But it could have all been very different, if Life Flight hadn’t been able to help. Please make a donation today, so we can reach more New Zealanders like baby Indie – to prevent an emergency turning in a tragedy.

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