It was a long 11 days spent stranded in Taranaki Base Hospital, but Havelock North pensioner Kathleen McSherry is finally home.
The 86-year-old broke her hip while on holiday in Taranaki and was stuck there while negotiations were made with Hawke's Bay Hospital to fly her home.
"I am just so pleased to be back. The people of Taranaki raised money for me after they put an article in the paper there," she says. "I flew in a proper air ambulance with a nurse. I am just so grateful."
Mrs McSherry had been on a bus tour, which stopped off at a motel in Hawera where she tripped and broke her hip.
The injury required surgery and she now has steel plates in her leg.
Over a week ago she had been told an air ambulance would take her to Hastings, but that plan fell through, along with numerous other attempts to get her back to the Bay.
"It was just too long. I went in there on a Sunday and was told I would be sent home on Tuesday but then the case manager came to me and said that wasn't going to happen.
"Last Sunday [a week later] I was told it was all sorted for me to fly out to Hawke's Bay Hospital and then to rehab on Monday, but when they called Hawke's Bay Hospital they didn't know anything about it."
Taranaki District Health Board spokeswoman Sue Carrington said it was up to the Hawke's Bay District Health Board to arrange transport for Mrs McSherry.
HBDHB chief operating officer Warrick Frater said in another interview that like all other DHBs it had a national travel assistance policy in place that ensured there were regulations around patient travel expenses.
"If a patient is discharged from the care of a hospital home the patient will often be required to fund their own way home either using public transport or with help of friends or family. If they are discharged back into the care of another district health board then arrangements will be made for transfer with the clinical team's input."