Life-saving surgery

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Life-saving surgery

Last year, my husband and I were in the South Island on a campervan holiday. A blood clot had been found in my leg prior to that, so I was on the drug warfarin and was having blood tests every couple of days to have levels checked. I was continuing the blood tests while in the South Island but the levels were too high. The day before we were due to fly back to Auckland and home to Whitianga, I started feeling sick and my lower back was really sore. I noticed I was bleeding, so I rang my doctor in Whitianga who told me to go to the hospital to get clearance to fly back to Auckland, which I got. As soon as we had landed in Auckland, I went straight to Thames Hospital for a scan. My condition deteriorated while there and I was admitted straight away. It was discovered that I had 4-5 litres of blood and clots in my abdomen. I was given a blood transfusion and the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was immediately dispatched from Hamilton to airlift me rapidly to Waikato Hospital where I was operated on for several hours. I don’t think I would have made it without the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter. They do such a fantastic job and I am so grateful. When we returned to Waikato Hospital for my check up, we visited the Jennian Hangar where the pilots and crew are based to thank them and happily gave a donation and became Friends. The rescue helicopter is a true lifesaver.

Hamilton patient Vicky Gilchrist

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