News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Smoke-free and loving life


Media Release

Date: 17 December, 2012

Smoke-free and loving life


Tamati Parkes gets some rehab work on his finger by hand therapist Rebecca Ralph, acting clinical leader at Waikato Hospital’s Hand Therapy, Burns and Scar Management clinic.


Tamati Parkes has kept his promise – and his ring finger.

The 38-year-old – a smoker since he was 11 – has been off the cigarettes to honour a large team at Waikato Hospital who reattached the finger after a work accident earlier this year.

“I had to cut my fingers off to realise I had to give up smoking. I want other people to know it doesn’t have to be that hard,” he says.

Tamati arrived at the hospital on October 4 with the two outside fingers of his left hand hanging off after an accident at a meatworks.

“I told the doctors to just cut the skin off. I wanted to get out of there and have a smoke.

“I changed my mind when after three times of telling them [to cut the skin] they still wanted to save the fingers.

“I didn’t want to waste their time and the money it costs to go into surgery.’’
After 20 hours of surgery by a team of about 20 and “amazing” care afterward, Tamati said he had to keep his promise to stop smoking.

Cigarette smoking would have compromised the operation as smoking narrows the blood vessels. But the little finger didn’t make it due to damage and blood vessel size.

“I’ve got nine fingers now instead of 10 so there’s a little reminder of my past life,” says Tamati.

“I wake up every day and think of the good people at Waikato Hospital who helped me change my life.

“Every time I walk into Hand Therapy it is a reminder of how life-changing this place is.

“It’s a beautiful life being smoke-free. I can smell perfumes and flowers – you truly do appreciate that.

“So Waikato Hospital has basically fixed up my life. It’s all about giving back for me now.”

That philosophy sees Tamati visiting a woman he helped after she was hit by a car in Hamilton East last month. She remains in hospital and Tamati calls in every Thursday after his hand therapy outpatients appointment.

Cigarettes are not the only thing Tamati has given up. He has turned his back on a former life which also included drugs and alcohol. Other good things have followed. He’s back in contact with his daughter, 17, and is a Sunday regular at a Hamilton church.

Life’s going well and maybe in a new direction next year, as he is keen on working with at-risk youth. “That’s just because I can now. And being smoke-free I see myself having a future.’’

And although Tamati has kept that ring finger, there’s no ring on it. “It would be nice to meet someone special one day. But that’s not a big priority for me right now.”

ENDS



© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news