Carol Thompson

Carol Thompson couldn’t shake her indigestion – despite taking a remedy and waiting for the discomfort to subside. She has woken up with the pain and knew if she waited it out, it should go away.

The pain kept on and the pressure intensified. With indigestion still thought of the cause, Carol carried on with her morning and her husband started to get ready for golf – but he grew more concerned and fortunately, didn’t head off to play.

“I had been out for dinner the night before and I’d had a couple of cocktails so I thought it might have been caused by that. Now and then I get indigestion so I wasn’t too worried to begin with.”

But her husband had another idea – not liking what he saw, he informed his wife that he didn’t think it was indigestion and that she was in bigger trouble than that – he thought she was having a heart attack.

He got her in the car quickly and drove to Kaitaia Hospital emergency department – a 45-minute drive from their Houhora home.

On arrival, the hospital confirmed their fears – which Carol says was a big shock for her.

“There was no way I thought I was having a heart attack, it was such a big shock. They worked on me for a short time and then told me they were going to medivac me out,” she says.

What felt like just moments later, the Northland Rescue Chopper arrived from its base in Whangarei and flew Carol directly to Auckland Hospital where a surgical team was awaiting her arrival.

Six stents were surgically placed into her heart.

Carol still can’t believe she ended up using the services of the chopper as a patient.

“I have supported the rescue helicopters for so long – and you just never know when you might need it, or someone you know might need it.”

But Carol does have a wee giggle to tell.

“Six or seven years ago, after I had donated during the appeal, I won a chance for a ride in the helicopter as part of the campaign. I was so excited but I couldn’t use the flight as I had something on that day – I was so disappointed. But years later, here I am getting my flight after all, just not in the way I had intended it to be!”

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