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

 

Snell Sale Peters Out: Singlet Withdrawn From Sale

“We believe the item was offered for sale in good faith, but our inquiries have shown that the singlet is not the one worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.” More>>

ALSO:

Bodega: Venue Closing At The End Of The Year, After 25 Years Of Music

"It is with considerable sadness that, for reasons beyond our control, we regret to announce the closure of Bodega’s doors at the end of this year, after 25 years of faithful and committed service to live music in Wellington." More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news