Cardiac on the 10th | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Cardiac on the 10th

The photos of two Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew on an advertising brochure is imprinted on Carolyn Eggers’ brain. “Those pilots were there in person helping my husband,” she recalls. Carolyn was referring to the collapse of her husband, Chris, on the Tirau Golf Course.

Golfing buddies thought he had tripped on something when they heard the thud at the 10th hole. Turning around, they saw Chris lying on the ground, with his golf clubs still strapped to his back.

An off-duty fireman who had been about to tee off started CPR on Chris’ lifeless body and people came running from all directions. Chris had just suffered what doctors described as ‘a catastrophic cardiac event.’

Carolyn, who had been alerted by a phone call from one of Chris’ golfing buddies, sped through traffic to reach her husband at the same time that the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was undertaking its rapid response flight from Hamilton.

“I was so relieved to see that the rescue helicopter and the paramedics were already there with him as I fishtailed into the driveway,” she said. “I didn’t even turn the car off, I just jumped out and ran towards Chris.

A few minutes later after having to be shocked back to life, Chris, with Carolyn at his side, was in the rescue helicopter and flying to Waikato Hospital.

On arrival, Chris had a full body cat scan. Doctors were concerned about the lack of oxygen to his brain for the whole 10 minutes he had been lying on the golf green. “Even after hundreds of tests, we can’t find what caused it,” said Carolyn, “and may never know.”

“But one thing we do know, Chris would not have made it if the rescue helicopter hadn’t been involved.”

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Your rescue helicopter can be airborne in 10 minutes and, in a life or death situation, this speed and agility can make all the difference. The timely assistance that rescue helicopters provide can reduce disability and improve survival – the sooner treatment begins, the greater chance of patient recovery.

We are partially funded by a government contract with National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO). We rely heavily on the generosity of sponsors and the community to help fund the shortfall that allows us to be rescue ready 24/7, 365 days of the year. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopter can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel, and intensive care paramedics directly to the patient.

Without your support, your rescue helicopter would not be able to remain operational on a 24/7, 365 day a year basis. This could mean a serious delay in people being rescued or transported to hospital for urgent treatment.

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