- by Dr Anne Mercier
Yesterday was a good day. Well, not entirely in all aspects, but there was a good dash of hope, many professionals working together as a team, and a flying ROCKET of help to change the tide of things.
Thirteen-year-old Chanté* had been missing her friends at school during the COVID lock-down, but a delighted visit to her neighbour’s new puppies ended in tragedy. The protective new doggie mommy misread Chanté’s enthusiasm and attacked her to defend her babies – leaving terrible wounds on Chanté’s arms and legs. Her leg was possibly fractured, and her artery potentially torn, which could threaten blood flow to her foot. The emergency crew called to the scene stabilised her and bandaged her wounds, calling the ROCKET helicopter to speed up the transfer to the hospital for definitive care. They did a fabulous job in identifying and securing a landing zone, and keeping all the people safe while the helicopter landed and took off.
Little Chanté was enormously brave through her first helicopter ride, and learned that by putting her injured leg in a box that the pain and bleeding got much better. She secretly told the flight-doctor that her favourite animal was a unicorn. So we asked Sparkles the unicorn to lead the way through the sky, help the brave pilot to land in blowing winds, and we all delivered her safely to the hospital with a lot less pain. We left our charming young lady in very skilled hands and the watchful eye of her mystical companion.
As the sun set on another beautiful Joburg winters day, crew both in the air and on the ground went home knowing that, at least for one young lady, teamwork had made all the difference. And therefore it was indeed a good day.
* name changed for confidentiality
ROCKET 1 crewed by: Captain Abie Bezuidenhoudt, Dr Anne Mercier and Patrick Wallett