A promise born with the arrival of a baby in a helicopter 15
years ago has been delivered to the birthday girl.
Yesterday was a day to remember for Jade MacMillan.
It marked 15 years since she became the first baby born in an
Otago rescue helicopter - one of just two babies born over 20
years of flying and thousands of missions for the
''We go to a lot of incidents of major trauma and drama and
we try to get the best outcomes we can, but this particular
job was just a great story,'' Graeme Gale, of the Otago
Regional Rescue Helicopter, said.
''It is something I have kept very dear to my heart. She is a
fantastic kid and she is going to go places.''
Proud mum Amber said she remembered the day vividly. It had
been a 20-hour labour before she boarded the helicopter, and
she noted the vibrations might have aided the midair arrival
of Jade somewhere over the Rock and Pillar Range.
''I had my feet on the roof of a helicopter and panicked when
they had her swinging upside down to get her breathing.''
''When we landed on the roof of the hospital, everyone
suggested we name her Rotor.''
But spare a thought for dad Shane, who had to drive in poor
weather conditions from the hospital in Clyde as there was no
room in the helicopter.
''I had to leave in the 4WD so I could catch the birth, and
the police officer in Lawrence was meant to stop me to say
the baby was born - but I missed him.''
However, in Milton he rung the hospital and was told ''she
had been born in the helicopter''.
''I was surprised about what a big deal it was.''
Not so for Mr Gale, the pilot on the day she was born, who
made a promise to take Jade for a flying lesson on her 15th
''Jade was the first person born in one of our helicopters
and she will always be the first.''
Also at her birthday party was flight nurse Joy Shields who
remembered the day, as ''it is a very rare event''.
''It is very special, just seeing Amber arrive; tears came to
your eyes straight away.''
Yesterday, the Columba College Year 10 pupil was taken for a
helicopter simulator ''flight'' near her Mt Pisa Station
home, with Mr Gale noting ''she's a natural''.
A real-life lesson followed.
And he might be right.
While she had her heart set on becoming a vet, the experience
of a lesson on a Robinson R-22 around greater Dunedin
prompted a change of heart about her future career.
''I am debating what I want to be now ...that was just so