THERE'S two reasons Helen Dean is still alive today.
Her stubbornness and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter medical team.
Mrs Dean had a massive brain hemorrhage at her home in Gunnedah in February last year.
In a twist of fate, the Deans' home is under the flight path in Gunnedah, so they knew the distinctive whirr of the rescue chopper's blades well before they needed its services.
"It was very scary, she collapsed at home, the ambulance came and worked on her and they got her stable enough to go to the hospital," husband Greg Dean said.
"They worked for two-and-a-half hours on her to stabilise to get her to Tamworth."
Mrs Dean said they were "blessed" have the chopper crew so close to home.
The chopper held a meet and greet day this weekend for its "rescue club" members at the Tamworth base.
It gave former patients a chance to thank the paramedics and doctors who helped save their lives.
It was a humbling experience for all involved and a reminder for the community about how their fundraising efforts get put to use.
Tamworth woman Georgia Rumsby got to see the chopper for the first time since she needed help from its crew.
She was working on a stud in Scone when she was kicked in the face by a horse.
"He split my eye in half and fractured my face," she said.
"And did a pretty good job on my nose as well."
Ms Rumsby said her father has been a "great fundraiser" for the service through the Ride for the Chopper appeal and urged others to consider a donation.
"It is really important to fundraise for these types of things, so no one has to pay for these services," she said.
"Especially in rural communities."