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.”