Joanna is alive today thanks to the care she received at Auckland City Hospital and, despite everything, she counts herself lucky.
Joanna has undergone around 25 operations since one fateful day in November 2016, when her car was struck by a van on SH1 at Dome Valley. Due to her traumatic injuries, Joanna was air-lifted to Auckland City Hospital, a decision for which she is forever grateful.
The trauma doctor on-board the helicopter kept Joanna alive until they landed at the hospital, where Joanna spent the next 13 weeks being treated and cared for by a dedicated team of surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists, radiologists and other doctors throughout Auckland DHB.
On arrival at Auckland City Hospital’s Emergency Department, Joanna’s chance of survival was less than 50% and stopping her internal haemorrhaging became the first priority, with a 15-strong team working through the night to save her life.
Joanna was in and out of consciousness for four weeks, during which time she underwent multiple operations to treat her highly complex injuries, and she feels immense gratitude to her clinicians.
“You feel like you owe them your life,” says Joanna, who is now walking again with the help of a crutch. “It’s amazing how they fix everything. My arm was virtually unsalvageable, and nobody thought I’d be able to keep it, but here it is,” she says, wiggling her fingers.
Joanna was 34 weeks pregnant at the time of the crash and, tragically, her baby Bo did not survive. Joanna’s other four sons, Connor, Kaelebe, Jacob and Robbie, have helped her through her grief.
Her boys are incredibly grateful to those who saved their mum’s life, and everyone who cared for her at Auckland City Hospital, saying it was awesome when she was finally able to come home. “I feel really happy that she’s ok,” says 10-year-old Kaelebe. “The doctors gave me my mum back. Without them, she wouldn’t be here.”