Helicopter a lifesaver for Blake
WHEN young Blake Allen was unable to breathe his life hung in the balance, depending on what the Westpac Rescue Helicopter calls the "golden hour".
In a race against the clock, the six-year-old was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition as a massive infection destroyed his red blood cells.
To put it simply, had Blake been transported from Evans Heads to Lismore Hospital by road he probably would have died - something his mother Karen Roche has publicly realised since the emergency last September.
"Blake needed the helicopter," Ms Roche said.
"Without it he wouldn't have survived.
"I instinctively knew he was in a bad way."
Fortunately, Blake recovered and his story is now the focus of the North Coast Westpac Helicopter Christmas Appeal.
General manager of the service Kris Beavis said the community-funded helicopter, covering the North and Mid North coasts, is now facing its busiest time of year. "We can fly between six to seven life-saving missions a day," Mr Beavis said.
"Because we fly more often our costs substantially rise as the helicopters need to be serviced more regularly."
He said it costs on average $8000 every time the chopper takes to the air.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the service by phoning 6627 4444 or via the website.