Second chance at life
The Warehouse is the place ‘‘where everyone gets a bargain’’.
Shirley Wright got the best bargain ever - a second chance at life.
Now the Te Aroha woman wants to make sure the people responsible for saving her are publicly acknowledged.
On October 7, Wright woke up feeling dizzy and unwell, but thought she would shake it off. She’d fainted in the shower two weeks before, too, but there seemed to be few ill effects.
An active person, she decided to take a trip with her partner to her favourite shop, The Warehouse in Morrinsville.
As she approached the store entrance, Wright again felt dizzy. It got worse, so she sat down for a minute on a pile of pallets next to some compost in the gardening section and closed her eyes.
‘‘The last thing I remember hearing is: Are you OK, shall I call an ambulance?’’ That voice was Nik Given’s. ‘‘I thought I had closed my eyes for a few seconds, but I was out for at least 20 minutes,’’ Wright said.
Wright’s partner Mike watched on helplessly as Given performed CPR for 20 minutes, until the ambulance came.
Even after the ambulance arrived, the officer who tended Wright was shaking so much he took several attempts to insert an intravenous line.
‘‘I didn’t realise how close to death I was until he said, ‘Mate, you were gone’.’’
The only contact Wright has had since with Given is a text message.
‘‘I don’t want to invade his privacy and be a nuisance, but I’m so grateful for his extraordinary act of kindness. What do you say to the man who saved your life? There are no words.’’
Wright spent 11 days in hospital and is yet to find out what was wrong with her.
She has been told to take it easy and rest up, and although it’s
‘‘I don't want to invade his privacy and be a nuisance, but I'm so grateful for his extraordinary act of kindness.’’
hard for someone who has been a commercial fisherwoman, Greyhound breeder and an opal miner in the Australian Outback, she won’t be ignoring the advice.
‘‘I was up on the roof before this happened, fixing up this and that. I’ve got to learn how to relax, but there’s only so much TV you can watch.’’
When she went back to The Warehouse after getting out of hospital, she was greeted with a big hug by a staff member she didn’t know and the words, ‘It’s so good to see you.’
That sentiment was shared by all who were there on that day.
A spiritual person who was brought up by Ma¯ori grandparents, Wright believes all the stories relayed by those who have died and come back.
‘‘I was really disappointed that there was no bright light at the end of the tunnel with all my wha¯nau waiting for me saying, come on,’’ she said.
‘‘Then I thought about it and it simply wasn’t my time, Nik was keeping my brain alive by keeping the blood pumping, from a medical point of view the brain is the last organ to die. Anyway, I’ve still got things I need to do around here.
‘‘Everyone gets a bargain at The Warehouse and I got mine - my life.’’
Shirley Wright owes her life to Nik Given, a stranger she met in The Warehouse in Morrinsville.
The Warehouse in Morrinsville where Shirley Wright collapsed.