“Henry is in his second year studying Marine Science at Bay of Plenty polytechnic. On Monday 27 June he collapsed in the polytechnic carpark. He had been feeling unwell for a few of days after an intense headache. He was taken to his local doctor who did a series of tests and was sent home until an appointment the following day. When it came time to go to the doctor on the Tuesday afternoon, he was unable to walk and fell onto the floor after crawling out of bed. His friends were unable to get him to the car so they called the ambulance.
“From this time on Henry has no memory of what happened. He was taken to Tauranga Hospital at about 5pm, and his mother in Auckland, was called. By the time she got to Tauranga Hospital Henry knew he was in hospital but did not know what day it was. It was thought he may have been getting a very bad flu or had a virus, little did we know.”
“After several hours and numerous observations and tests it was decided to do a CAT scan to rule out anything going on in his head. There they found he had a large bleed on the left side of his brain. Tauranga Hospital is not equipped to deal with neurosurgery so they immediately called Waikato Hospital. They ordered another CAT scan and for him to be prepped for a helicopter flight to Waikato Hospital.”
“Although the helicopter came immediately from Hamilton it was a long wait for his family and friends. The helicopter crew had Henry onto the stretcher and into the helicopter within 15 mins, they were racing to beat the fog. They were also racing because of Henry’s very serious condition, but were outwardly very calm and reassuring.”
“Henry’s dad drove down from Auckland to meet the helicopter and was there when it touched down. He saw Henry as he was was bought into the emergency department connected to all sorts of machines. Again the crew were so caring and calm.”
“Henry was put into HDU in the early hours of Wednesday morning and was operated on first thing in the morning for a large subdural haematoma. He has recently undergone another operation on a cyst on his brain that was the source of the bleed. He is doing great and is back studying and hopes to be back scuba diving next year.”
“Without the expertise of the pilot and crew of the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter we might well have had a very different outcome. We are sincerely grateful to them and enjoyed our visit to the base to thank them for the outstanding job they do.”