Phoenix, AZ – A 74-year old woman is still feeling the side effects of a botched helicopter rescue by the Arizona Fire Department.
A video of the rescue shows the woman spinning over 175 times while strapped into the rescue helicopter’s emergency patient litter.
The 74-year-old woman who twisted violently while suspended from a helicopter in a rescue gone wrong is still too dizzy to walk following the incident, according to her husband.
“Her face and feet are swollen up from the spinning,” George Metro told radio station KTAR News 92.3 FM Thursday of his wife, Kati Metro.
“All the blood vessels in her face broke, and her neck. So her face is all swollen and black and blue.”
Kati fell while hiking in Phoenix, Arizona, and suffered face, wrist and hip injuries on Tuesday. A helicopter was called in to evacuate her, but she ended up wildly spinning below the aircraft strapped to a stretcher in a moment captured on video.
Firefighters said that during the windy rescue a line that was supposed to prevent the stretcher from spinning in circles failed, leaving Kati helpless as she twisted around a nauseating 170-plus times over the course of more than two minutes.
“The first thing she said was, ‘I’m glad I’m alive,’” George told NBC affiliate KPNX in a separate interview. “She thought she was going to die when she was spinning.”
Days later, she’s still struggling to move, George added. “She’s been so dizzy that she can’t walk,” he told the radio station.
He added that he doesn’t blame the rescuers, saying that they were very “thoughtful.”
“It’s unfortunate what happened,” George said to the radio station. “I hope they can solve that problem. I would never want to see anything like that happen again to someone else.”
The Phoenix Police Department said that out of 210 rescues the department has conducted involving stretchers beneath helicopters in the past six years, spinning events have occurred just twice.