Purple bales will be scattered around the countryside for Starship

MARK TAYLOR FAIRFAXMEDIA NZ

A packaging company is brightening up New Zealand's fields with purple bale wrap to raise money for The Starship Foundation.

Starship Children's Hospital saved the life of one-year-old Hunter from Mercer, who was kicked in the head by a horse in March.

Hunter's grandmother and legal guardian, Leah Greathead, said she had never appreciated the differences between medically caring for children and adults until she found herself at Starship with her grandson.

Leah Greathead and her grandson, Hunter, thank Starship Hospital for saving his life. They stand with Andre Syben from ...
MARK TAYLOR FAIRFAX NZ

Leah Greathead and her grandson, Hunter, thank Starship Hospital for saving his life. They stand with Andre Syben from Zeus Packaging, which is selling purple bale wrap to raise money for the Starship Foundation.

"At Starship they had specialist people and nothing was a problem. It's a lot different from him being in an adult hospital. I just presumed dealing with one would be like dealing with another.

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"But there's definitely a big difference, and they gave us so much confidence. [Children] do need specialised care."

The family were at a horse event in March when they were loading their animals onto the trailer.

Hunter was holding an adult's hand when a big Shire horse unexpectedly lashed out at another horse, but clipped Hunter in the head, instead.

He suffered a compressed fracture in his skull and a small bleed.

Going in and out of consciousness, he was flown to Waikato Hospital where his lungs collapsed. A team from Starship Children's Hospital flew down to collect him.

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"When they were first letting him come out of the induced coma, when he would come to he would go absolutely mental, just flip out. The nurse said she's never had a child or adult remove as much hardware [drips, monitors, catheter] as he did. It was just so scary."

The staff helped calm Greathead and gave Hunter round-the-clock attention.

"They're just so good up there, they know what they're doing. And we were able to stay up there in the Ronald McDonald house. It's the greatest place ever. They looked after us as well as him."

Within a week, Hunter was able to go home. But without Starship, Greathead doesn't know if he would have survived.

"It could have been so much worse, he could have died. I think we're so lucky we got the same little boy back.

"He's had a neuro visit recently and they're really happy with his progress. As far as we know, there is no lasting damage."

And he's not put off horses either. Hunter now has a miniature horse, Pumpkin, who he is friends with.

Zeus Packaging is selling purple bale wrap, some with happy faces on them, to raise money for The Starship Foundation.

The company has pledged $20,000 to the foundation.

Find out more at purplebales.co.nz

 - Stuff

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