Wild trip for fam­ily

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MAR­JORIE COOK

Hawea Flat School pupil Gabriella Hol­loway, 5, achieved an im­por­tant mile­stone last week when she started school as planned.

But it was touch and go whether Gabriella would make it after she slipped over on one of her favourite di­nosaur books and broke her left leg on Au­gust 1.

The break was a par­tic­u­larly bad one – a com­plete spi­ral frac­ture the en­tire length of her thigh bone – and it turned her fam­ily’s world up­side down.

The Hol­loway fam­ily lives at Tims­field, at Lake Hawea, about 300 kilo­me­tres from Dunedin Hos­pi­tal.

Char­lotte and Ryan Hol­loway will never for­get the ac­ci­dent, which hap­pened in the lounge while they were just me­tres away in the kitchen.

"We knew im­me­di­ately it was bro­ken but we didn’t be­lieve it. It didn’t make sense. She cried. There was a blan­ket there and I tied her knees to­gether be­cause I thought at least that would give it some support. We just got her in the car and drove to the med­i­cal cen­tre. It didn’t even en­ter our mind to call the am­bu­lance. We just wanted to get her there. They air­lifted her straight away to Dunedin,’’ Char­lotte said.

The flight was tough enough with an se­ri­ously in­jured child, but windy weather made it worse. Two paramedics on board the Alpine He­li­copters craft were sick and as it was too dan­ger­ous to land at Dunedin Hos­pi­tal, they landed at the har­bour.

Ouch: Gabriella Hol­loway, then 4, in trac­tion at Dunedin Hos­pi­tal after a se­ri­ous spi­ral frac­ture to her left leg.

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