Dan Thanks You for His Time Critical Flight


"Hurtling through the air all out of shape, I knew from experience it was going to be a very hard impact."

Dan was enjoying a day at his local mountain bike park in Palmerston North when a jump went horribly wrong.

"I tried to do all I could to lessen the blow, but travelling at close to 40kmph, I over jumped by a long way and landed very hard into a clay wall, upside down.

"Coming down from about four metres in the air, I landed straight into a rock - hard.

"I kind of remember trying to stand but I couldn't, so I managed to drag myself and my bike off the edge of the track so none of the other riders would hit me or the bike. Then I think I passed out and the rest is a bit blurry."

Luckily for Dan, his friend and a few other mountain bikers saw what happened and stopped. They called 111 and an ambulance and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter were soon on the way.

He was carefully loaded on to a stretcher and the ambulance crew drove him to a clearing, where the rescue helicopter was waiting. He was transported to Palmerston North Hospital within minutes.

Dan was wearing full body protection from head to toe, but still suffered extensive injuries - a shattered pelvis, four broken ribs, concussion and shoulder and spinal injuries.

"To be honest, the vibration of the helicopter hurt like crazy. I didn't know what was wrong with me, so I did panic. But it was such a relief knowing I was with the rescue helicopter crew. I felt very safe. The road out of the bike park is a very long, bumpy gravel road, so  I was happy the rescue helicopter turned up."

One year on, Dan is doing well. "I am surprisingly OK now, although straight after the accident I went from a fit and healthy active person to being laid up in hospital.

"When I returned home, I was pretty much ready for the retirement home, using shower and toilet seats and a walking frame for about four months then on to crutches. Now I'm almost back to normal."

"The helicopter crew were just so good, they just seemed so cool, calm, and collected. They knew what they were doing and did the job well. One of the crew even kept checking in on me in the ED which I thought was very cool." - Daniel Jack