I was walking the amazing Kaikoura Coastal Track with eight friends. We were walking downhill, and I was at the front. I do not recall feeling dizzy or slipping, but I do remember the sickening sound and feeling of my head hitting a tree as I fell. I had scalped myself on the tree and was bleeding profusely.
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere; they can be minor or life-changing and everything in between.
These are Diane’s words, following her own experience with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service recently.
“On March 21st 2020, I was walking the amazing Kaikoura Coastal Track with eight friends. This is a quite strenuous two-day walk; we were nearing the end of day two on a very cool and windy day, and I thought I could smell the sea. We were walking downhill and I was at the front. I do not recall feeling dizzy or slipping, but I do remember the sickening sound and feeling of my head hitting a tree as I fell, then my friends were there and trying to get me up the bank that I had fallen down. I was aware of severe pain in my neck, but with help I managed to very carefully wriggle my way back up to the track. Two of my friends had been carrying survival blankets, for which I am very grateful, as I was able to lie on one and have the other around me. I had scalped myself on the tree and was bleeding profusely; the girls were applying pressure to try and stop the bleeding. We had no cell phone reception, so three of the girls walked out to get help. It seemed quite a long time before help arrived, and I think the St John Ambulance from Kaikoura arrived just before the rescue helicopter. The rescue helicopter team were amazing and soon had me being winched up through the trees and away to hospital. I had fractured my top two vertebrae and had an extensive scalp laceration. I spent 4 ½ days in Ward 19 and 13 weeks 4 days in a neck brace; I am well on the way to a full recovery. My family and I will be forever grateful to my friends, St John and the exceptional rescue helicopter staff. Did you know that you can donate your Hotpoints to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter appeal…if we all give a little it will help.”