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Saved twice by Life Flight, thanks to you

Picton grandfather Gordon has cheated death twice in seven months - with your help.

Picton grandfather Gordon has cheated death twice in seven months - with your help.

Last July, critically ill with renal failure and severe lactic acid buildup, Gordon was flown to Nelson Hospital in our Westpac Rescue Helicopter. After four days in intensive care and undergoing dialysis he made a full recovery.

But on Waitangi Day, Gordon had stroke-like symptoms. The left side of his body was weak, and his mouth was drooping.

The 65-year-old was taken by ambulance to Wairau Hospital where doctors said he need to get to Wellington Hospital to see a neurologist. He flew in our Air Ambulance Plane.

Three days later Gordon was well enough to return to respite care in Blenheim to recover. Flown in our air ambulance once again - with his wife of 43 years, Heather, at his side.


“My husband would have died if Life Flight hadn't airlifted him to Nelson in July,” says Heather.

And his chances of survival would have been slim had he not been flown to Wellington in February - about a third of people who have subdural haematomas die.

"He is a battler. He's like a cat with nine lives," Heather said of her husband.

Knowing a loved one is fighting for their life is a "shattering experience" Heather said, however the professionalism and empathy the Life Flight staff showed, helped her cope during
both incidents.

After Gordon's trip in the chopper, a Life Flight fundraiser happened to knock on the front door of his and Heather's home in Waikawa and asked if they wanted to donate to the

"Well of course what was I going to say? I said, 'Where can we sign?' My husband wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Life Flight," Heather said.

They are now Red Angels, donating to Life Flight every month.

Help us help others like Gordon. Please donate today

Gordon and his wife Heather

*This is an abridged version of the 18 February 2018 New Zealand Herald article “Life Flight Trust crews save Picton man Gordon Gray twice in one year,” written by Brittany Keogh.