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A Second Chance At Life: Roland's Gratitude For Your Rescue Helicopter Crew

“It doesn't really feel like, "thank you" is enough... I consider the rescue helicopter crew to be guardian angels and they were most certainly mine. I am probably like many others who didn't know they needed the rescue helicopter until I did.”

For keen mountain biker Roland, a day in early May last year turned into a critical situation and a whirlwind of emotions. Roland found himself in need of urgent medical attention after a mountain biking accident at Arapuke Forest mountain bike park.

On that fateful day, Roland had fallen off his bike on hilly terrain, which resulted in a ruptured spleen. Miraculously, he was fortunate to have been riding with his good friend, who has extensive experience working in the healthcare system, including emergency department settings. This circumstance proved to be a lifesaving factor for Roland, as his friend's knowledge and expertise proved invaluable in ensuring your rescue helicopter arrived on the scene.

“If it hadn't been for my friend that recognised how serious my condition was and who made sure it was the rescue helicopter and not an ambulance that came to get me, I may not have made it to the hospital in time for surgery” says Roland.

Spleen ruptures can be catastrophic, as they can lead to severe internal bleeding that can quickly become life-threatening. This silent threat is often imperceptible to non-medical professionals, as the bleeding can occur without noticeable symptoms or external signs of injury.

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Roland’s circumstances highlight this, with him saying, “I didn't have any other injuries and most of my friends that were riding with me at the time of my injury, thought I was okay and certainly not in need of a helicopter ride or even an ambulance.”

“I later learned that I had lost over 2 litres of blood.” explains Roland of his critical injury.

It is thanks to the prompt response of your rescue helicopter crew that Roland was able to receive the critical care he needed.

“The sound of the rescue helicopter approaching brought me massive relief, knowing that help was on its way”, says a very grateful Roland.

“The 8-minute flight time to the hospital was a stark contrast to the 20-minute journey down the hill and the further 45-minute drive I would have faced without their assistance.”

Roland thanks the Critical Care Flight Paramedic and Crew onboard for their professionalism and warmth alongside their quick actions and expertise, providing a source of comfort in a very frightening situation.

Roland was flown to Palmerston North Hospital and required emergency surgery for splenectomy. His road to recovery hasn’t been easy due to a post-operative infection, facing new challenges related to no longer having a spleen, and the blood condition that he has, Polycythemia Vera.

“Despite these challenges, I am grateful to be back doing the activities I love, including riding my bike.”

Reflecting on the experience Roland says, “I was very humbled by my experience primarily because of all the people that were at the ready and able to respond in my time of need to ensure that I received the lifesaving care I needed.”

“I feel deep gratitude for the rescue helicopter team and the essential role they played in saving my life.”

“I now know first-hand that the rescue helicopter plays a critical role in ensuring that people in life threatening situations get the care they need as quickly as possible” says Roland.

Missions like Roland’s happen everyday and it’s what happens next that makes the difference… YOU make that difference. Donate to Chopper Appeal today – https://give.rescue.org.nz/event/aerocool-rescue-helicopter/donate

© Scoop Media

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