Wild trip for family
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.