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Alice’s rescue

Alice was winched from the Paraparaumu bush after a severe fall.
Alice Bradley

During a walk at a Paraparaumu reserve, Alice had a severe fall, bashing her knee, head and shoulder very hard.

“As I noticed blood coming from my head, the sun going down and began feeling very cold, I realised this was extreme and I needed help. In pain, I called 111 and explained my dire situation,” says Alice.

Our Westpac Rescue Helicopter team knew the area well and realised Alice could need winching in thick forest area, which can be challenging. It also posed the challenge of trying to find her.

Speed was crucial as light was fading, so we launched the chopper immediately. Luckily we were able to talk to Alice on the phone to track her location.

I was so thankful when I heard them roar overhead,

There was no place to land so we had to use the winch. We winched down the paramedic who assessed her situation and we winched them back together in the thick bush.

Alice says, “I was scared so I closed my eyes on the way up. I felt a shoulder tap about halfway up and opened my eyes to see a beautiful sunset.”

It’s our job to remain calm, efficient and professional on these missions and we have a built in training programme to do this on a regular basis.

Thankfully your support enabled us to rescue Alice and fly her to hospital and the help she urgently needed. She needed knee surgery and 11 days of hospital care.

“Thanks so much to the Life Flight team for finding me and saving my life. The reality is if I hadn’t phoned 111, I don’t think I would have made it through the night because it was cold and there’s no road access at the reserve.

I’ve also since realised that this could happen to anyone. Everything was fine, I was fit and healthy, then one fall changed everything in a heartbeat.”