Growing up aware of the Rescue Helicopter has given Kyla Rabone an appreciation of the Service the Crew provides



This was highlighted in January when she broke her left femur after a horse she was riding on a farm in Whangamamona fell on her.

Initially Kyla turned to her father who was in attendance and said matter-of-factly, “dad, go and get mum – I’ve dislocated my hip and she needs to pop it back in,” retells mum Leanne.

It’s no surprise she asked for her mum for the initial treatment – Leanne was part of a first responder group in the small Taranaki community and had been used to getting phone calls to attend incidents herself in the past.

Leanne once even delivered a friend’s baby in their lounge with the Rescue Helicopter landing on their property to whisk the mum and new-born away.

After receiving the phone call advising her that Kyla had been an accident, Leanne made the 10-minute drive to see what they were dealing with. On arrival she could tell straight away it was a leg break and after a quick assessment a decision was made to call 111.

“It’s not your hip, your bone is broken,” Leanne recalls telling her daughter, to which her reply was: “Just ring the helicopter to come and pick me up.”

After witnessing the Rescue Helicopter touch down at their farm residence a couple of times in the past, Kyla seemed to know the drill.

Leanne and her family have been donors over the years and understand the importance of the service provided. “Given where we live, we rely on it as a lifeline. When things go bad, they can go pretty bad. I have a great relationship with the ambulance services but because of our isolation we often push for the helicopter,” Leanne explains.

“It would have been at least 45 minutes from the main road to the location of the accident if an ambulance was dispatched and then at least another hour to Stratford and further to New Plymouth if necessary.”

After a short wait, the Rescue Helicopter arrived, and the crew worked their magic as soon as they landed.

“They were amazing, they really have the goods. They stabilised Kyla and made sure not to move her too much and made a quick decision to head to the paediatric specialists in Hamilton. We thought we would just go to New Plymouth.”

Kyla was transported to Waikato Hospital where they pinned the femur and added a metal plate. “We were so amazed with Kyla given that it was a substantial break of a large bone. She just trucked along so calmly and coolly and took everything in her stride.”

After five days she was back at home on crutches, with the injury not seeming to affect the rest of her school holidays. “She was still able to go swimming and enjoy her summer break, the biggest impact was on our normal farm life.”

Kyla hasn’t had the opportunity to get back on the horse so to speak, but has no fear of the animals after the incident, rather a new appreciation of their value on the farm and the significance of what could have happened.

“Chocolate was fine after the fall, he just got up and started grazing next to Kyla. We still don’t really know what happened. Normally when a horse falls there are scramble marks where their legs kick up to try and get back up but there were none around. Kyla knows it could have been a lot worse.”