Hospital ward a long way from the dance floor

Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust

Ray and Berna Hayward should have been enjoying a night of dancing but instead the entertainment organisers were recovering in hospital after a car accident that could have killed them. Thanks to your support, they’re on the long, slow road to recovery.

2.11pm – a time that will be forever imprinted on Ray Hayward’s memory. It was at that exact moment on the afternoon of Friday 5 October that Ray and Berna Hayward’s car was hit head on at speeds of 100km/h north of Mokau.

The rest of the afternoon is much of a blur.

“I remember lying on the side of the road in a great deal of pain with people all around. Then I overheard a man with ‘Commander’ on his back speaking into his radio saying, ‘I need three rescue helicopters,’ recalls Ray. Shortly afterwards, Ray, his wife Berna, and fellow passenger Monique Matthews were flown to Waikato Hospital.

If there’s a silver lining to be found, it’s that Ray and his wife Berna are still alive to reflect on the crash and provide insight into what Ray calls the region’s most valuable asset, the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter.

“We have come away from an accident that should have killed us,” says Ray.

Ray and Berna, perhaps best known as owners of Raybern Entertainment, have been supporting the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter for five years. Each year, the entertainment duo who provide music and entertainment for private and corporate functions throughout the North Island, host the Raybern Entertainment Charity Ball, an event that raises over $3000 for the Rescue Helicopter.

Following the accident, Ray has insight he never thought he’d have into the services of the Rescue Helicopter. “We support them, but I never ever thought I’d need it,” says Ray. “I can speak highly enough of the crew and everyone who has played a role in our care. The helicopter is the region’s most valuable asset. I encourage everyone to donate, whether it’s $1, $10 or $50. You never know when you might need them.”

  • The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter was first on the scene and played an initial role in caring for Ray and Berna, in conjunction with Mokau First Response, Mokau Volunteer Fire Brigade and members of the public. Thank you to the Tauranga and Taupo Rescue Helicopters for their support and rescue service on the day.
  • The 2018 Raybern Entertainment Charity Ball was held on Saturday 13 October at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International, and raised over $3,000 for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust. Thank you to everyone w attended. Your support ensures we can undertake life-saving rescue missions for people in need, including Ray and Berna.
  • The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust thank Ray, Berna and Monique for their ongoing support of the service and wish them all the best in their recovery.