Charlotte Rogers had a very early start to life, arriving at 30 weeks, weighing 2lb 4oz. She spent the first two months of her little life in hospital growing in weight and strength, before being discharged in late March 2016.
“Being in the hospital felt quite safe and very institutionalised, so it was really scary coming home, especially where we live rurally,” said Kate.
Kate’s mother helped out for the first week the young family was home, and when the family settled into their new routine, she departed. That same night, during Charlotte’s late night feed, she became pale, floppy and unresponsive. It was a parent’s worst nightmare. “Everything seemed like an eternity. To be honest, I thought she was dead,” said Kate.
Anxiously, they tried to stimulate Charlotte to get some kind of response, whilst making a call for emergency assistance. The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was immediately dispatched to the Rogers’ property, 30 minutes west of Taihape.
Under the cover of darkness, the rescue helicopter landed on the Rogers’ hill country station. The advanced paramedic took charge of the situation, stabilising baby Charlotte and reassuring her worried parents. “The team was fantastic and made us feel at ease,” Kate remembers.
As the rescue helicopter raced Charlotte towards Whanganui Hospital, the clouds rolled in. “Due to cloud cover and limited visibility, an approach into Whanganui Hospital wasn’t feasible. We quickly diverted to Palmerston North Hospital,” said pilot, Chris Moody.
Charlotte was admitted for overnight observation, and tests revealed her heart had a slight arrhythmia, which was put down to her premature start in life. She had a few more mini apnoea episodes but medication over the following months helped resolve the issue.
“After we had our fright, we had our GPS coordinates printed out. The rural community is so lucky to have a rescue helicopter service.”