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.

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