Saturday May the 11th 2019 started as a completely normal day for Thomas. Little did he know that in a few short hours – he would be dealing with a reality that he may be paralysed and unable to walk ever again.
As a keen rugby player, he was looking forward to the game he was playing in that day - a reserve grade match for competition winners Napier Old Boys Marist against Hastings side MAC at Tremain Park in Napier.
Thomas got to the field, prepared for the game and started warming up with his teammates. Everyone was excited and really looking forward to the day as it was set to be a good game.
The game started and was going well until his worst nightmare occurred.
A player tackled Thomas and he landed in such a way that he was knocked out.
When he came to, he had crowds of people surrounding him, asking if he was okay.
It was then that he realised that he wasn’t okay and couldn’t move any part of his body. He was completely paralysed from his head down. The ambulance turned up in what seemed to be minutes and checked him over whilst administering pain relief.
The paramedics immediately knew how serious this accident was. Urgent treatment for Thomas could mean the difference between him being able to walk again or being paralysed for life.
The paramedics at the scene identified that they needed the Rescue Helicopter to transport Thomas to the specialist care. Our pilot and crew were activated and were at the scene within minutes.
The closest specialists for spinal injuries were in Auckland at Middlemore Hospital and so the decision was made to fly Thomas directly there. The crew loaded Thomas into the Helicopter and In just over an hour, they were on roof at Middlemore Hospital.
The swift access to urgent specialist care Thomas required meant thankfully, that Thomas made a full recovery and was home in the Hawke’s Bay a few days later.
“I am so grateful for the care the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter provided on that day. It was such a relief for not only me, but also my family, to get to the specialists that I needed so quickly.
The crew were fantastic the whole time. I just don’t know what we would do without these guys in the Hawke’s Bay and they have certainly changed my life by being there when I needed them.” Thomas said.