18 Apr 2024
Bay of Plenty
Jonty and his MTB

On a beautiful Rotorua day, Jonty, a keen mountain biker, was enjoying the tracks and trails in the scenic Redwood Forest.

Having spent the morning riding his favourite tracks, it was on to the smooth, flowing bends of the Te Poaka trail, little did he know that this adventurous ride would take an unexpected turn.

“As I rode down the steep terrain, I got to about halfway down the trail when I lost control of my bike, crashing directly into a tree. In an instant, I knew I needed help. Fortunately, my wife was with me and quickly called emergency services,” says Jonty of the frightening situation.

Due to the challenging terrain and very tall trees, a rescue team managed to carry Jonty up to a clearing, where the Aerocool Rescue Helicopter hovered above, ready to winch him on to the helicopter.

“I could hear the sound of the rescue helicopter approaching as I was being stretchered up to the clearing at the top of the track. I remember feeling so relieved hearing that sound and knowing I was one step closer to getting to the hospital, I was in so much pain” says Jonty.

After a tricky winch extraction by your rescue helicopter crew, Jonty was safely and securely on board the rescue helicopter and treatment for his pain immediately began.

With urgency, your rescue helicopter transported Jonty in a few short minutes, from the Redwood Forest to Rotorua Hospital. The journey provided a constant reminder of the importance of the rescue helicopter service. It was not only the fastest mode of transport to the hospital, but it also ensured Jonty’s safety, preventing further spinal injuries...which could have occurred on the challenging off-road tracks.

“I think an ambulance would have been excruciatingly painful across the bumpy and rutted off-road tracks - the rescue helicopter was certainly a smooth ride.” Jonty said.

Equipped with the latest range of medical equipment and highly skilled crew. The Aerocool Rescue Helicopter is a mobile intensive care unit, and ensures patients receive immediate and timely medical care during transit. This level of care and attention significantly minimises the risk of further injury, enhancing overall patient outcomes and recovery.

“Given the severity of my injuries, I was relieved when I arrived at the hospital. I had fractured two lumbar vertebrae, torn AC joints in both shoulders, and suffered multiple contusions and lacerations on my arms, legs, and face. While the pain was intense, I was so grateful that I could still move my toes.

“My recovery journey has been slow but steady. I am slowly regaining my strength and mobility. While my back still bothers me at times, the rest of my body has almost healed completely. I will always be grateful to all those that helped me that day.

“This life-altering experience has made me appreciate the fragility of life and the importance of reliable emergency services such as the rescue helicopter. Living in a country like New Zealand - we are fortunate to have access to such an incredible life-saving service.” says Jonty.

Thank you for supporting your rescue helicopter service. Jonty is hugely grateful to those who donate, ensuring the rescue helicopter was ready and available when he needed it.

His message to his crew that day, and to all you wonderful donors.

"Thank you for coming to my rescue and reassuring me that things were going to be ok, and for the skill and life-saving work you do."

“We never expect to ever need the rescue helicopter, but your donation not only acts as insurance for yourself but also assists others who may find themselves in similar circumstances, whether they be friends, family members, or even strangers in need. Thank you... thank you... thank you!”

Bay of Plenty