Thomas still alive thanks to Life Flight

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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Thomas Morland, when he was 10, with his mother Jacqui, after surgery to remove part of his brain to reduce his seizures.
Thomas Morland, when he was 10, with his mother Jacqui, after surgery to remove part of his brain to reduce his seizures.

Jacqui and Bevan Morland from Greytown are no strangers to the Life Flight Trust, saying if it wasn't for the charity their son would not be alive today.

Twelve-year-old Thomas' first Life Flight ride was when he was just 18 months old, and since then he has had three more.

The Greytown School student has severe epilepsy, suffering from prolonged seizures which can be deadly -- particularly if treatment is delayed.

Thomas' mother said his life-threatening condition, status epilepticus, means he may go weeks without having a seizure, but once he has one it can trigger a cluster of fits which are "very difficult to stop".

"They get closer and closer together. They get so bad you can't get him out of the seizure."

Mrs Morland said at times like this Thomas would be put in to an induced coma "so his brain and body could rest".

She said because Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton had limited resources, Life Flight would transport Thomas to Wellington Hospital when his condition became critical.

"It was a sense of relief when they arrived. You had a sense that everything was going to be okay. Even though your whole world is turning upside-down, they come along and they get it under control and you knew that he was going to be in the best hands."

Mrs Morland said on each of her family's Life Flight experiences the staff had been "absolutely phenomenal".

"Their professionalism is amazing and they communicate compassionately because they know it's not a nice time for you."

Mr and Mrs Morland will be attending the Lions and Lionesses Quiz Night next week, which is fundraising for the Life Flight Trust.

The quiz is to be held at the South Wairarapa Workingmen's Club on May 20 -- exactly two years on from the day when Thomas' underwent surgery that removed a part of his brain. Since the surgery his seizures have reduced significantly.

"Life Flight saves lives," she said.

"We would have lost him if we had not had that service to get him over the hill to the help that he needed."

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