Moto Media
James Stewart

Updates. Tony Cooksley suffers cardiac arrest.

Update 6 - 11pm Saturday: I am in Wellington on Targa media duties - home tomorrow. I rang home and Tony & Belinda were  there for dinner !!  Our sons are riding the Bel-Ray Sunday and Tony might go out and manage them - Yeah Right !  This will be the final update. Oh, Jason Gill and his sister Jody Somervell finished 4th overall in the Targa - awesome result considering what was 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  Mark Whyte (Whyteline Suzuki) and Tracey Lance (DRD Mag etc) finished 15th in the same class - Modern.

Update 5 - 11pm Friday:  Tony rang and he is out of hospital and home.  Says he feels good but very tired.

Update 4 - 11pm Wednesday:  I was standing with a media crew at the Inglewood Yumps - a famous section of the Targa Rally. Phone rang, it was Tony - I could not believe it !!  He sounded good and said he was having an ECG that morning.  He wanted to know how Jason Gill was going - he was then 5th overnight and still holds that position. Virginia rang later in the day and said the ECG had found the blockage that caused the heart attack.  They had inserted a stent - a spring, similar to those found in a ballpoint pen, that holds the blood vessel open. I had a txt from Chris Bailey to say that he and Tony are the founding members of the 'Motocross Stent Club'.

  Jason Gill on the Inglewood Yumps. Alan H.

Update 4 - 9pm Tuesday: I am away on Targa Rally Media duties.  My Family spent an hour with him today and said whilst he has no recollection of the day he appears fine otherwise. Frankly that is quite amazing. He is having an ECG tomorrow to determine what is going on with his heart.

Update 3 - 9pm Monday:  Mid-morning they started to bring his body back to normal temperature.  At 2pm he was starting to come out of the induced coma and was obviously recognising those talking to him.  At 3.15pm he just slowly came to.  He had no recollection of Sunday's events. He wanted to go home and was grumpy at being in hospital.  Just had come out of 36 hours anaesthesia so drowsy. Had several visitors and 10 minutes later did not remember them coming.  Knows who people are though. Talks and laughs like same old Tony. Can't believe he had a heart attack and just how lucky he was.  Imagine if it was out on a work job ?  Now in the Coronary Care Ward and will be assessed tomorrow as to what caused the heart attack. 

Update 2 - 8am Monday: Still in induced coma. There will be no news until after 9am.  11am starting to bring him out.  

Update 1 - 8pm Sunday: Tony's Mum flew up tonight and Tony's brother Grant (Aaron's dad) took her to see Tony at 8pm. Thanks for all the 'support' calls and messages. A Paramedic said to one of Tony's friends that one big thing in his favour is his bloodstream would be full of adrenalin. Wayne Gillard, who said to me tonight; "I was doing CPR within 30 seconds of him stopping breathing" might well be his saviour.

Original Release on 24 October:

He fell to the ground hitting his forehead on the bike-stand. Wayne Gillard saw him collapse and realised what was happening and got him into the recovery position. Wayne said; "I thought he was choking and when he stopped breathing I removed his chest protector to start CPR (chest compressions). I then directed Donna Phillips (Tipene) to start with the artificial respiration (mouth to mouth)." 

The Medics were sought and Tony's son Shey actually went and picked him up on the back of his bike.  Donna and Jolanda Doeksen worked in tandem with the artificial respiration. 

The Paramedic used a defibrillator on him, an electric shock needed to restore a heart rhythm. After the first two attempts a differing unit was fetched from the Ambulance. Two more attempts and Tony started to breath on his own. 

Once stabilised he was ambulanced to Middlemore Hospital.  The Ambulance Medics said that Tony's physical attempts to resist the restraints and medical paraphernalia was a good sign.    

At Admissions at Middlemore they carried out a series of tests before moving him into the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).  The Doctors then sent him off for a CT Scan to determine both heart and potential damage to the blood vessels in the brain. 

When he returned he was in an induced coma and will be, for 12 to 24 hours.  At which time they will allow him to come out of the coma himself.  

Family and friends that gathered at the hospital know, no more than that.

Fingers crossed for a full recovery. If you are into prayers, say one for Tony.

                                                    Alan Henderson