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Cathy’s story – “I’m lost for words to describe my experience”

Cathy’s story – “I’m lost for words to describe my experience”

The moment Cathy woke up, she knew something wasn’t right. A long-time asthma sufferer, that morning she couldn’t get her asthma under control. Thankfully she was staying at her son’s home in Masterton, and he was able to call an ambulance for her.

A woman with long straight hair and glasses next to text: I couldn't fault the care I received

As she struggled to breathe, Cathy felt a sense of relief that help was on its way. As soon as the two Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics arrived, they introduced themselves and helped Cathy to the ambulance to see if they could get her asthma under control.

For about 30 minutes, our team worked with Cathy, administering inhalers and other medications, and providing plenty of calming reassurance. Thanks to their efforts, Cathy was treated on-site without the need to go to hospital.

Cathy says that she “couldn’t fault” the care she received. The paramedics were “so helpful” and the care they provided was “absolutely amazing, especially their caring attitude – I really felt like they wanted to help”.

 “I’ve never had that happen before”

Once Cathy was feeling better, it was the next level patient care that our paramedics provided that truly impacted on Cathy. As she explains:

“The paramedics told me that once I was feeling better, they’d come back at 5pm to see how I was doing. I’ve never had that happen before and it shocked me! It blew me away when they said they would come back and check on me later - and they did. They’re such busy people and I was surprised that they’d make time to check on me once they left.”

But at 5pm, the paramedics turned up again to make sure Cathy was fully recovered.

Although Cathy hasn’t called an ambulance in years, she previously lived in Hawke’s Bay. Calling an ambulance from the Wairarapa, Cathy comments that she’s “not used to what they do here – I’ve never had paramedics come back to check on me. I really felt so cared for”. Our extended care paramedics try to treat patients in their communities rather than transferring them to hospital. Part of their package of patient care is to return later to ensure that everything is working as expected.

When it comes to describing her experience with Wellington Free Ambulance, our paramedics’ care has left Cathy “lost for words” beyond two important ones: “thank you.”

To allow us to continue being there for the Wairarapa community now and in the future, we’re fundraising to build a state-of-the-art ambulance station in Masterton. For more information and to donate online, visit www.buildwairarapastation.org.nz




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As our patient, and under the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Rights, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect
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  • Services of an appropriate standard
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If we don’t respect these, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to put it right.

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If you need support or help with making a complaint, you can contact the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and ask for an advocate.

0800 555 050


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