We have a property in Lowburn opposite the 45th parallel on Sugarloaf and we had arrived down the evening before and it was Rob’s intention to get fit and walk the 45th every morning (we can see it from our bed!). I walk it regularly with our dog but Rob is more a biker than walker so this was exciting to hear he was now up for this challenge.
Off we set on the morning of 8th to start the daily ritual. On arriving at the top Rob was walking with Miss Maud our staffie pup and I had stopped to take yet another stunning picture of the view from up on the ridge. Rob had stopped and said to me “I am not feeling well – nauseous and some pain in top right of his chest/shoulder area. With a genetic history of heart issues in his family we didn’t delay and called 111. Within minutes we could see the ambulance tearing down the highway towards us and I said here they come. I ran along the ridge to guide the ambulance officer to where we were located as Rob was sitting out on a bench seat by the trig.
By the time the very puffed officer had got up to me he said they had made a decision to call the chopper as felt it was crucial to Rob’s survival. The chopper landed before we had got back to Rob and were already sorting him out on the portable ECG machine.
Short story is they departed with my darling husband in the chopper for a 40 minute flight to Dunedin and left me standing up there with our pup and I said to her “I do hope we get to see him alive again”!
The ambulance officers and police remained with me and were marvellous and very comforting and caring.
This all happened in a whir and a few hours later I received a phone call from Gerry Wilkins the cardiologist who performed the stent operation on Rob to say he had had a heart attack but was fine and now had a stent. What a relief as you can well imagine and was my turn now to jump in the car and drive through to Dunedin to see Rob, hold him and shower him with all my love.
Without all the amazing and inspirational people involved this would have been a very different outcome.
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart (and Rob’s now improved functioning one!) and we can’t speak highly enough of the service the chopper team performed that day for us.