A brush with a bee | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

A brush with a bee

Murray Bartz is grateful for your annual Friend contributions, after a brush with a bee on Boxing Day left him struggling just to take a breath.

Murray and his son decided to work off the Christmas Day lunch by going for a bike ride on Boxing Day.  Departing the family bach in Whangamata and heading towards Tairua, they hadn’t cycled far when a bee flew into Murray’s mouth, down his throat and stung him near his voice box.

“I got the bee out,” said Murray, “but it had already stung me and I could feel the sting working away.”

Having had convulsions to a bee sting in the past, Murray and his son wasted no time in getting back to the beach house where his wife, Lynda, was waiting with the anti-histamine tablets.

“I had a sore throat but nothing more at that stage,” said Murray.

However, that all started to change and the noticeable tone difference in Murray’s voice was enough for them to make a call to the Whangamata Medical Centre.  Even though it was out of hours, they were seen immediately.

The ambulance was called, more drugs were administered and Murray was put on a ventilator to aid breathing.

“At that stage I couldn’t lie back because it was cutting off my breathing and I was having trouble swallowing,” said Murray.

“We were told that the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was on its way to fly us to Waikato Hospital and that was a shock,” said Lynda.  “Half an hour earlier I was cleaning up after breakfast and now we were off in the rescue helicopter!”

They were told that it was too far between hospitals to go by ambulance and that once the drugs started to wear off, Murray might react again worse than the first time.

Murray was under observation at Waikato Hospital before being discharged several hours later.

“We disrupted everyone’s day but Murray had to be in the right place for the right treatment and that is what they did for us.  As annual supporters of the rescue helicopter, we now know first hand what a great service the rescue helicopter is.”

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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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