Tom Freeman’s Story

Tom Freeman’s Story

Tom Freeman's Story

Thomas Freeman is a tornado of energy. You won’t see mum and dad complaining about it though, as this little lad had his energy, and almost his life, taken away from him back in April 2011 during a fun family activity.

One year ago the Freeman family were having rides on a new horse mum Jo had bought (Buddy). Three and a half year old Tom’s turn came to sit on Buddy but very soon something spooked the horse and it quickly sidestepped. It was enough for Tom to roll backwards, tumble off and land on his side at the rear of the horse’s feet.
“It’s rear right hoof stomped on Tom’s stomach,” said dad, David.

Tom’s parents rushed him to Tauranga Hospital. Upon arrival he was taken immediately for a scan. Tom had been vomiting large amounts of blood and the CT scan revealed what the parents already feared – he had severe internal injuries.
Doctors didn’t want to do the surgery in Tauranga, preferring it to be done by paediatric specialist teams at Waikato Hospital and the Westpac Waikato Air Ambulance was immediately dispatched to pick Tom up.

Pilot Loren Haisley, who flew Tom that day, told colleagues about the child he had just flown in who was “the toughest kid I have ever seen.”

During the long six hours of surgery, Tom’s parents heard calls going out for “assistance required” and just felt sick every time they heard it.”
Finally, an anaesthetist came out and said “Well, if you prayed or hoped for the best possible outcome – that is what you got.”
“We held each other and just cried and cried.” said his relieved parents.

“He is now 140%.” said David. “We were humbled at the support we got and everything that happened. Even though we know many things came together for his survival, we also know for a fact that if he had not been flown to Waikato Hospital that night, there was a chance he may have died and we‘re just incredibly grateful for the service the rescue helicopter provided. It has made all the difference in the world to us, it really has. We just can’t imagine life without him. There would have been a massive hole left in our lives.”

We cover Aotearoa, New Zealand

Find your local chopper to make a donation