Six-year-old Blake Allan visits the Westpac Rescue Helicopter base in Lismore for the first time since he required the service last year. Pilot Marty Hanna shows Blake the chopper’s controls.
Six-year-old Blake Allan visits the Westpac Rescue Helicopter base in Lismore for the first time since he required the service last year. Pilot Marty Hanna shows Blake the chopper’s controls. Cathy Adams

Rescue flight 'saved my son'

IT HAS been 12 months since Blake Allan was struck down with a mystery illness at Evans Head but it's only in the past month that he has begun to feel normal again.

On September 25 last year Blake's mother and father, Karen Roche and Dave Allan, found their then five-year-old son looking faint and vomiting in the lounge room.

"Dave was about to go out to Ballina and walked back in the house because he forgot something to see Blake sitting on the couch and he started to whimper and shake," Mrs Roche said.

"By the time I got inside he was vomiting so I called 000."

Mr Allan went outside and found the Evans Head Fire Brigade across the road, who provided oxygen to Blake as his situation got worse.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter picked up Blake and flew him to Lismore Base Hospital; a move that Mrs Roche said saved his life.

Mrs Roche said a mystery virus was eating away at Blake's blood.

"When he was still at home it sounded like he was on his way out; like his body was depleting itself," she said.

"If the helicopter wasn't there, (Blake) wouldn't be here. It was one service I never thought I would need and on that day we needed it and it was there.

"It saved Blake's life."

Recently Blake got a chance to sit in the pilot's seat of the rescue helicopter and saw a different view to what he saw when he was on a stretcher in the back.

"I was in the back and I remember the lights and the thousands of buttons," Blake said.

Despite his near-fatal illness he also remembered giving the pilot, Marty Hanna, and the paramedics the thumbs up before the chopper took off from Evans Head.

Blake spent 10 days in hospital but Mrs Roche said it took about 10 months for him to feel completely healthy again.

Blake's story is one of many that involve the charity-funded services of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

To donate to the chopper's Christmas Appeal call 66274444 or log online at www.helirescue.com.au



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