Straight from the heart | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Straight from the heart


Sue was facing what no mother should have to; the loss of her terminally ill daughter.

During the difficult time of nursing her daughter, Sue noticed one day that she herself was experiencing dizziness. “I experienced an intense tightness in my chest that felt like bad indigestion,” she said. The pain was persistent, even pain relief wouldn’t budge it. It was when Sue had the classic symptoms of feeling clammy, cold and sweaty that the experienced nurse knew she was in a lot of trouble.

Sue was experiencing a heart attack and was transported straight to her local hospital’s Coronary Care Unit, where she found herself in role reversal. The nurse had become the patient.

When Sue was transferred down to the helipad for the flight to Waikato Hospital for a stent operation, she recognised the helicopter crewmen. “I felt so safe surrounded by people I knew,” she said.

“When we personally know the people we transport, it emphasises the fact that we belong to a community which connects back to friends and family very easily. It clearly shows that the community shares the cost of having this great asset,” said the rescue helicopter crewman. “You don’t have to go too many degrees of separation to find someone who is not connected to the rescue helicopter in some way, shape or form; whether by being a patient, donor or by association.”

After a speedy flight Sue was in Waikato Hospital’s operating theatre and out in half an hour.

Not being available for her sick daughter for a few weeks during her own recovery was difficult. “I was determined; I needed to be there for my daughter, but I also had to solve my own issues. My health scare was more than anything a matter of a broken heart.”

“It has been a tough journey,” said Sue candidly and full of emotion, “Ruthee died three months later on Boxing Day. My heart hasn’t had the chance to actually recover.”

But it’s a heart full of love that says: “She was an amazing, very beautiful girl with eyes that shone. She fully lived, even in the last few days of her life. She lived.”

We Need You

Your support ensures rescue helicopters are available to your community.
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.

Support your rescue helicopter and make a lifesaving difference.

Saving Lives, Together.

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