Man's rescue to feature on TV

By Amy McGillivray

Jaco de Lange lay on the concrete floor, covered in blood and barely able to move.

He opened his eyes - the pain in his chest was immense and made even worse because he was strapped into a neck brace and maneuvered into the back of an ambulance.

A short drive later the ambulance stopped and to his relief he heard a helicopter.

"Everybody says it on TV. When you hear the sound of the helicopter it tells you you're going to be okay and not to worry, help is here," Mr de Lange told the Bay of Plenty Times.

The 48-year-old Tauranga resident will feature in next Thursday's episode of the new television series Code:1, a show that follows the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and medics who treat the patients.

Mr de Lange was building a log roof on a house in Coromandel town on December 14 when he fell two stories off the scaffolding and landed face first on concrete.

"I can't remember anything," he said.

"I just remember lying on the concrete floor and just asking the guys I work with, 'how did I end up here? What went wrong?' It was a simple job we did up there."

The Auckland-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew the father of three to Waikato Hospital, where he was rushed through for x-rays and scans.

Mr de Lange fractured his temporal bone, burst his eardrum, cracked his ribs and had an open wound on his head and remained in hospital for four days. That was nearly eight months ago and he has only just returned fulltime to his job as a carpentry apprentice.

"I lost hearing in my left ear. I'm waiting for a hearing aid to be fitted.

"That's going to be a long-term thing. That mentally doesn't sit well with me a hearing aid at 48."

He also suffers bouts of dizziness, due to his inner-ear damage, which means he is limited to ground-level work for now.

"For me at the moment, getting up step ladders and stuff it's dangerous. I have to be careful, there's no doubt about it," he said.

"It sounds bad but it's not that terrible. I lead a normal life. It will get better."

The Details

Who: Jaco de Lange

What: Code:1

When: 8pm next Thursday

Where: TV2

- Bay of Plenty Times

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