An overseas visitor flown to the Whangārei Hospital in a serious condition after being stung by a wasp returned to thank Northlanders who helped her before medics arrived.
The woman, in her mid-30s, was walking along a beach with her mother at Tinopai, on the Kaipara Harbour about 37km south-west of Maungaturoto, about midday on Thursday when she was stung and went into anaphylactic shock.
She was driven by her mother to nearby Tinopai School where she collapsed in the carpark.
Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction, often affecting several parts of the body, including either breathing difficulties, a sudden drop in blood pressure, or both.
Symptoms typically occur within 30 minutes of exposure, often within five minutes, and usually develop rapidly. If not treated right away, it can result in unconsciousness or death.
Tinopai School principal Sonya Kaihe said one of her teacher aides was the first on the scene and brought umbrellas to shade the woman while she rang 111.
The woman returned to the school yesterday to thank teachers and parents who were by her side before emergency services arrived.
"Four of our parents are in the Tinopai Volunteer Fire first response team and they arrived in a fire truck. We put umbrellas over her for about 30 minutes and poured water on her back while medical help arrived," Kaihe said.
She said the woman was a Kiwi but lived in Melbourne and was visiting Tinopai for two days.
"She told us she was allergic to wasps and it was the first time she had been stung in a very long time."
The woman was flown by Northland Rescue Helicopter.
Just over an year ago, a wasp attack sent Arapohue woman Vivienne Hollis into anaphylactic shock after she received about 200 stings on her body.
She was attacked when a fallen, half-dried epiphyte, also known as a widow maker, she was dragging split open and a huge swarm of wasps flew out.
She then headed towards a water trough about 25m away to try "drown, douse and detach" the wasps.
Hollis was flown to the Whangārei Hospital where she stayed overnight before being released the next day.