Your donation enabled a speedy flight out of the Tararua Ranges for Heather Grady, preventing long-term organ damage.
“I was on a three day tramping trip with friends,” said Friend of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter Heather Grady, “and I was a bit slower than I was expecting but it was nothing particularly concerning.”
By the second day, Heather had to stop at every other step and was even out of breath coming down a hill. She got to a point where she felt she couldn’t continue. Struggling on, Heather tried to rationalise her lethargy: “I seem an awful lot more tired than I should be. Perhaps I am just unfit.”
The party eventually made it to Waitewaewae Hut. “I wasn’t mentally competent to make the call as to whether I was ill rather than tired,” she said.
Luckily the tramping party had a Personal Locator Beacon and a two-way satellite communicator. They used the satellite communicator to send an SOS. It was established the only way out for Heather was by air.
“I was so tired by the time the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter arrived. I had an ECG and blood pressure checks and fell asleep sitting up in the helicopter with all that noise going on.” she laughed. “I woke up later and realised we had landed.”
It took a few more tests in hospital for doctors to identify the problem. Heather had a severe kidney infection, which was soon sorted with antibiotics and now she is back to full health.
“Without air transport being available, there would have been a 6-8 hour walk in to my location by ground rescue.”
It would have been very difficult for them to diagnosis a kidney infection without obvious symptoms. With no rescue helicopter, the likely delay in getting antibiotics could have led to kidney damage.” Your donation helped get Heather the treatment she needed fast.