A split second decision saved Jason O’Connell’s life | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

A split second decision saved Jason O’Connell’s life

A split second decision made by helicopter crew saved Jason O’Connell’s life

“I was a farmworker in Reporoa at the time. I was on my bike, went over a bump I have ridden over many times, but I must have been going too fast.” Jason said.

The suspension took all the shock and sent Jason catapulting over the handlebars.

“My head hit a fence post and then the bike came through and cleaned me out,” he recalled.

Jason suffered a broken jaw in three places and a fractured vertebrae and pelvis.  Another farmer who witnessed the accident found himself dealing with a seriously injured man instead of helping round up cows.

The ambulance was first on the scene and the BayTrust Rescue Helicopter was dispatched moments later, which was just as well Jason explains: “The rescue helicopter was headed for Waikato Hospital but on the way I started to go downhill.”

“The medics had to resuscitate me and the pilot immediately turned the helicopter around and rushed me back towards Rotorua Hospital. If I had gone by road that would equate to a 40 minute journey.”

Jason spent over a week in hospital recovering and returned to work several weeks later.

“I have a bit of a memory problem with detailed things now and again; that’s all part of the injury, but if it wasn’t for the rescue helicopter crew, I don’t think I would be doing as well as I am.  Thank you so much for the work you do.”

© 2015 Philips Search and Rescue Trust. Images and content are the property of Philips Search and Rescue Trust.

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