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Helen's race against time

Thanks to wonderful people like you, daughters Linda, Jodie and Tracy still have their beloved Mum.
Female Life Flight Rescue Helicopter Patient

Helen was staying with her daughter Linda, in Otaki when she was taken ill with a mystery infection. Her condition went downhill with startling speed.

“I could hear an unusual noise coming from Mum’s room in the middle of the night, so I went in,” Linda told us.

“She’d turned herself around in the bed and was fighting with the blankets to get them off, but she felt really cold. She was incoherent and didn’t want to wake up. I could tell something was very wrong, so I called an ambulance.”

By the time the ambulance arrived, Helen was deteriorating fast. As her temperature continued to drop, she fell into a coma.

The paramedics realised Helen’s life was hanging in the balance. They knew that if she travelled to hospital by road, it would be too late – so they called in Life Flight.

Thankfully, there was a field near to Linda’s home where our Westpac rescue chopper could land.

Helen’s condition was touch and go, so our expert medical crew worked fast to stabilise her before the flight, to give her the best chance of survival.

Helen doesn’t remember anything about her desperate dash to hospital in the Life Flight rescue chopper, or the skilled medical crew who rushed to her aid and delivered her there safely in time to save her life.


Life Flight Patient Helicopter Carpark
This snapshot was taken from Linda's car at Otaki Domain while they waited for Helen to be airlifted to hospital.

 “You can’t imagine something like this until it happens to you, and you can’t know how thankful we are that we were able to get Mum onto the rescue chopper and get her into the hospital so fast. When she got there, we were told it was a very touchy situation whether she’d pull through.” - Tracy and Jodie, daughters.

After a couple of days Helen came out of her coma and a week later she was able to go home to continue her recovery in the care of her loving daughters.


Life Flight Rescue Helicopter Patient Family Photo
Helen with two out of three daughters and the wider family.

Helen still doesn’t know what made her so fall ill so suddenly – she said her doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause but suspect a lung infection.

But she knows that if ever she or her loved ones need urgent help again in a medical emergency, Life Flight will be there.

Thank you for your vital donations, ensuring our flight teams could be there for Helen when time was against her illness.