A life saved in Kaipara
Dargaville resident Jenny Finlayson had a black spot in her memory for a few weeks last year. She can’t remember how or why she woke up in hospital, watching and listening intently as people asked her what her name was and to identify where she was.
What she didn’t know at the time, was that she was waking up from a coma, in the intensive care unit at Whangarei Hospital, weeks after falling ill with what she thought was ‘just the flu’.
The now 71-year-old recalls feeling unwell and heading to the doctors, where was prescribed rest for pneumonia and a few days off work.
She did as she was told and went home to rest, only to start feeling worse as time went by.
Home alone and resting is the last memory she has of her ordeal. With family finding her quite unwell on their arrival at home, she was rushed to Dargaville Hospital by her husband and daughter - with the doctors at the hospital realising swiftly that she was in grave danger. “Apparently my organs were starting to shut down. I had sepsis and I was in a bad way. The Northland Rescue Chopper was called to fly me to Whangarei Hospital and I was put into an induced coma,” she says. Jenny believes the quick actions by the doctors and the speed in which the helicopter arrived and flew her to Whangarei Hospital saved her life.
“On arrival at Whangarei Hospital, I was admitted to the ICU where I was for three weeks. I woke up after five days and had no idea where I was, or what had happened. I thought I might have been in a car crash until they told me the details.
“I found out afterwards that even the nurses who had worked on me that night in Dargaville Hospital were unsure of whether I would make it. It was that close. “That helicopter saved my life, it truly did. I was so close to death and the speed of that flight played a major part in me being here today.”
Jenny says the helicopters are an essential service that is so heavily relied upon across the reaches of Northland.
“Those helicopters really do save lives, I am living proof of that. I urge people to support them.”