In July this year in an inter-school rugby game, thirteen year old Otamatea High School student Dietrich Von Dincklage was running towards the try line as fast as he could with the rugby ball tucked firmly under his arm.
“I thought that I was going to make it to the try line but I was caught in a hard tackle by two players from Bream Bay College,” says Dietrich. “I copped one around the neck by one player and my legs were swept out in the tackle by the other, in effect flipping me over backwards causing me to land heavily onto my head and neck”.
Dietrich remembers that game continued for a few minutes until staff and spectators realised that he was badly hurt with a sore back and neck, and a jaw that had been kicked twice in the continuing play. St John’s ambulance was called to the school and they gave him paracetamol for the pain. The decision was quickly made to call in Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter.
“My sister was taken out of class to wait with me in the ambulance and kept talking to me, telling me what was happening and how I was doing.
“When the helicopter landed at the school, the paramedics carried me to the helicopter on a stretcher and then we flew with them to Whangarei Hospital.”
Dietrich remembers that it was a scary time. His head and neck were tightly bandaged and braced to protect him from further injury, so he could not move or hear what was going on.
“I had no idea what the paramedics were saying to my sister or how bad my injuries were,” he says. “But I trusted them, because they are trained professionals who were very friendly and helpful.”
Dietrich spent a few hours in Whangarei Hospital being treated for a badly bruised jaw and neck, and was finally released home complete with an uncomfortable neck brace. He says that he was thankful to have the helicopter service in the area, as it would have been a much longer and more uncomfortable trip to the hospital in the ambulance.
“Please donate to the rescue helicopter appeal. The helicopter makes your trip to the hospital much, much quicker than you expect, which becomes very important to you when you have been hurt.”