Rapid Response Gives Second Chance

Toni doesn’t remember many details from a Friday evening in September 2018. But she knows that she wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter and crew. Driving on State Highway 3A between Inglewood and Lepperton, Toni was suffering a mental health crisis which resulted in a serious car accident that left her with life-threatening injuries.

Following the accident Toni was unconscious and in a critical condition with a severe GCS-3 brain injury. Every moment counted for her survival and it’s what happened in the vital minutes afterwards that made all the difference. The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, with a Critical Care Paramedic, Crew and Pilot on-board, responded immediately – providing lifesaving care before rapidly transporting her to Waikato Hospital where she was able to receive the emergency care needed to save her life.

“I am extremely grateful for what the rescue crew did to me when I was in such a critical condition. Without their expertise I absolutely wouldn’t be alive today.”

One year later in 2019, Toni was on the road to recovery and well enough to join us at the Taranaki
Rescue Helicopter open day.

“It was a surreal feeling seeing the helicopter and knowing how much work they had to do on me to get me stable enough for the flight. A nurse friend of mine has told me the flight crew commented that they couldn’t believe I survived the flight.”

Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone – and Toni knows how privileged we are to have a rapid lifesaving service like the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter available.

“I’m in awe of what they do for our community.”

For Toni, the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter gave her a second chance at life – a second chance she’s incredibly thankful for. She is still here today and wants to inspire others that recovery, both physically and mentally, is completely possible.

Thank you Toni for bravely sharing your story.


Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. Lifeline 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) 0508 828

865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Youthline (open 24/7) 0800 376 633 You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email [email protected]