Joshua's Story

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Joshua's Story

When baby Joshua was born, he was experiencing respiratory distress. He was placed into a special care unit at Tauranga Hospital where he was given oxygen through his nose to help him breathe. Five hours later there was no improvement and the team suspected he had an infection which turned out to be Strep-B.

Three days later, Joshua deteriorated further and doctors made the decision to send him urgently to Waikato Hospital. They requested immediate assistance from the Westpac Waikato Rescue Helicopter crew who were dispatched immediately. Joshua’s parents were told that their baby boy was unlikely to have survived more than a few hours had he not been flown to Waikato Hospital in the helicopter. Joshua’s mum, Joanne, didn’t fly with her baby and even though it was difficult to be separated from him, she understood that medical personnel and vital equipment needed the valuable space on the chopper.

Joanne remembers a nurse asking her, “Do you want to watch the helicopter coming in to land and pick him up?” She preferred not to: “It’s more real when you see it land,” she said, her eyes welling up as she remembers back to that day. “It was real when I saw the rescue helicopter pilot in his red overalls walk in to the hospital room with a very large incubator to put Josh in.” Jo and her husband immediately began the one and a half hour drive to Hamilton before the chopper had left the helipad, as the baby had to be stabilized before the medical team could fly him out. They finally returned to Tauranga Hospital with baby Joshua nine days later.

Feeling extremely appreciative, Joanne was compelled to express her gratitude: “We’re just so grateful the helicopter service is there. It’s a wonderful service - just amazing.” “We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful, lifesaving service you provided. You are our heroes and angels.” – Joanne Denham

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