Mason Bellamy has a story to tell his mates, and thanks to your support of the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, he’s alive to tell it.
The children in Room 6 at Woodleigh Primary School have been missing their classmate, Mason Bellamy – and Mason has been missing them. He would much rather have spent the week at school than in Waikato Hospital. Mason’s parents, Brendon and Sarah, do too, but they’re just thankful their six-year-old son is alive. A usual, relaxed Sunday afternoon for the Bellamy family – Mason was riding his motorbike, Sarah was getting dinner ready for the active family of five – ended in an emergency flight to Waikato Hospital aboard the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter. A flight that saved Mason’s life.
“I was actually getting a beer while Mason was riding but I went outside when the bike stopped,” recalls Brendon, owner of Tricky Tree Specialists, a corporate sponsor of the Rescue Helicopter. “He’d come off and was walking across the paddock looking quite dazed.” An active and outgoing kid, Sarah also describes her middle child as a bit of a drama queen when it comes to bumps and bruises, but this afternoon Mason was just quiet. “He wasn’t his usual self,” says Sarah. “He had a cut to his cheek but his breathing was laboured, so mother’s intuition kicked in. I knew something wasn’t right.”.
The Bellamy’s 10-acre property is eight kilometres outside New Plymouth, so Brendon drove Mason to Taranaki Base Hospital.
Sarah went back to preparing dinner for Mason’s two brothers, Jacob (12) and Daniel (4). The last thing she expected was a phone call from Brendon to say he and Mason were being taken to Waikato Hospital by the Rescue Helicopter.
Mason had lacerated his liver and the internal trauma he’d suffered meant he required constant monitoring under specialist care – care he had within 40 minutes thanks to the prompt response of the Rescue Helicopter. And it was lucky he did. A couple of days later, Mason’s chest started to fill with fluid and he required immediate surgery to drain the fluid off his collapsed lung.
“The care we received at Base Hospital was great, but to be able to jump on a helicopter and be at Waikato Hospital in the hands of specialist doctors and nurses in 40 minutes – you can’t put a price on that,” says Brendon. “We’ve always donated to the Rescue Helicopter but until you need it, you have no idea how important it is.
“To think,…this little tyke might not be here with us now if it weren’t for the Rescue Helicopter.”
“To Andy and the crew, we can only thank you from the bottom of our hearts for saving our little man’s life. Until you need this service, you really don’t realise how truly valuable it is. Mason is well on the way to a full recovery and asked me to thank his mates for saving his life.”