Promising young horse rider, 19 year old Lauren Dolan’s aspirations of becoming a top horse rider were unexpectedly interrupted when she was seriously injured in a at a horse competition. However, thanks to the emergency response from the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Lauren’s career aspirations will soon be back on track.
Lauren was at a competition near Takapau at the Arran Station Horse Trials. After a thorough warm-up, and as Lauren was about to enter the arena to compete, her horse unexpectedly bucked and dislodged Lauren, and lashing out with its’ hind feet kicked Lauren in the face.
The seriousness of Lauren’s injuries was immediately obvious so the helicopter was called through 111. Once airborne Chief Pilot Charlie Beetham took just 18 minutes to fly to Takapau and deliver Intensive Care Paramedic Ryan Sutherland to the scene. Lauren was quickly assessed and treated by Ryan, then immediately flown to Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s Emergency Department in Hastings for further assessment and initial treatment.
Several hours later the Rescue Helicopter was called once more to transport Lauren from Hawke’s Bay Hospital to Hutt Hospital for specialist care of her facial wounds. X-rays revealed that Lauren had 54 bone fractures – 53 of these in her face and one broken collar bone. Thanks to some amazing work by some very talented maxillofacial surgeons Lauren’s face is unmarked, so bears no lasting scars from her ordeal.
Lauren’s recovery has been slow with several surgeries along the way, but her equestrian career will continue, she is not deterred by the incident so will soon be back and riding. As Lauren says “I started horse riding at 3 years old, so I know that this accident was just one of those things along the way” She is determined to pursue her dreams of becoming a top horse rider.
Of her two trips in the helicopter - Lauren says “I don’t remember any of this but I am incredibly grateful to the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter for the service I received. I would not have made the recovery that I have without the rescue helicopter”.
All of the team at the Rescue helicopter wish Lauren every success as she pursues her equestrian dreams.
Mark meets Pilot Jeremy Bruce following his accident