Zerena’s story – thanks for saving me CareFlight

Zerena Di-Prima says she owes her life to CareFlight.
Zerena Di-Prima says she owes her life to CareFlight.

CareFlight was delighted last week to be reunited with previous patient, Zerena Di-Prima, ahead of this year’s ‘Come Fly With Me’ Fundraising Ball on June 30.

Local woman Zerena was lucky to escape with her life when a fun fishing trip with her husband Allan in the remote location of Leaders Creek took a frightening turn for the worse.

On their boat, marooned at low tide to take advantage of the large amounts of Barramundi, Zerena began to feel unwell.

A bite on her toe which she identified as a March fly bite had started to sting. Rapidly, large red hives appeared across her body as she lost colour to her face, and she began to drift in and out of consciousness.

Recognising the symptoms of a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, Allan knew he had to act fast.

Despite the low tide and rocks, he managed to move the boat towards the nearest ramp and began the brave act of carrying Zerena through the mangroves and crocodile inhabited waters to land.

As she slipped in and out of consciousness, Allan splashed her with icy water from their Esky to keep her awake until they could get into the Leaders Creek fishing hut to call the emergency services.

Within an hour, CareFlight arrived on the scene via helicopter. Zerena said: “It was a big relief to hear them flying overhead. You never know when you’re going to need someone to rescue you in a remote area. I had never had an allergic reaction like this before.” She went on to say:

“The crew were amazing, they waited with me and kept me calm throughout the whole ordeal. If you’re looking to donate, CareFlight is an incredible organisation. Had I not got to the hospital, my reaction would have gotten worse and spread to my throat. They were there when I needed them and it’s great to know there is someone there to help.”

Zerena was flown back to the Royal Darwin Hospital in a journey lasting just 15 minutes, to begin her recovery from this traumatic event.

You can see a video of Zerena’s story at the upcoming 2018 CareFlight ‘Come Fly With Me’ Ball, that will raise funds for the CareFlight Northern Territory’s only dedicated Rescue Helicopter aeromedical retrieval service.

Donations to CareFlight are vital for providing the advanced trauma teams with essential training and medical equipment, as well as keeping the rapid response aircraft in the sky to save the lives of people like Zerena.

Spaces for the ‘Come Fly With Me’ 2018 Hangar Ball are limited.

Tickets are for sale now online at www.humanitix.com/event/come-fly-with-me for $250 per person, or $2500 for tables of 10.