Blenheim boy back in the saddle thanks to Life Flight
Harvey Brownlee had been horse riding plenty of times before, and his mother had no reason to think this day would be any different.
But as Caf Brownlee arrived at the riding instructor's house to pick Harvey up, she saw what no parent wants to see.
"There was lots of blood ... It looked like someone had hit him in the face with a sledgehammer," Caf says.
The horse was spooked and chucked him onto the ground, before kicking him in the face, crushing his frontal sinus.
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The 9-year-old was taken to Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, and then to Wellington Hospital in Life Flight's Air Ambulance Plane for emergency specialist care.
Caf says the Life Flight team was "awesome".
"They told us everything that was going on. When you're a mum in this situation, your head is just not completely straight and they helped ease some of our fears."
A year on, Harvey still has the scar but he is almost back to normal, Caf says, except for some memory and concentration issues.
He has even leapt back into the saddle, which "some would say" is brave, he shrugs.
Harvey wants to give back to the charity that helped him in his hour of need.
He has raised more than $700 for Life Flight, by selling cookies and running a show jumping training day with the help of the Marshlands Pony Club.
"We will be forever grateful to Life Flight for looking after Harvey so well," Caf says.
Several of Caf's friends and some of the people at the club had used Life Flight themselves, so they were more than willing to pitch in, she says.
"Wherever Harvey went for treatment, it was going to be a long road to get there from Blenheim, so we rely on them a lot.
"All the hospital staff were awesome, but Life Flight is funded by donations and I think it's really important to raise awareness of what they do and keep them going. You never know who will need them next."
- The Marlborough Express