Cat rescue ends in copter rescue

Catastrophe: George the cat, who was a stray kitten that adopted Marie Ambrose and her husband Greg eight years ago, has certainly turned the Ambrose household upside down.
Catastrophe: George the cat, who was a stray kitten that adopted Marie Ambrose and her husband Greg eight years ago, has certainly turned the Ambrose household upside down.

Efforts to rescue George the cat last Thursday have landed 65-year-old East St resident Greg Ambrose in Lismore Base Hospital with two broken arms, a smashed knee and multiple gashes.

George had spent the previous night on the roof after being chased by neighbourhood dogs. Mr Ambrose went up a ladder the next morning to rescue him, with wife Marie providing ladder support. Mr Ambrose was climbing back down with George in hand when the ladder collapsed and he fell onto the cement path.

Ambulance paramedics attended but on route to Tenterfield Hospital were redirected to Federation Park to meet the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, which transported Mr Ambrose to Lismore. There he had a number of scans to clear him of internal injuries, and more than four hours of surgery on the broken bones.

Aftermath: Greg Ambrose is loaded into the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter on his way to Lismore for surgery.

Aftermath: Greg Ambrose is loaded into the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter on his way to Lismore for surgery.

Mrs Ambrose said after a very worrying few days he is now on the mend and hopes to be transferred to Tenterfield Hospital shortly to continue his recuperation. Still his arms will be in plaster for 6-8 weeks and his leg braced and unable to support his weight for 3-4 months. Fortunately he didn’t suffer any spinal injuries.

Mr Ambrose had been due to play in the bowls district championships over the weekend.

“It will be a long time before he plays bowls again,” Mrs Ambrose said.

She is busy reorganising the house to accommodate wheelchair access, but said she is lucky to have the support of family and friends in what are going to be a very challenging few months.

The saga had a happy ending for George at least, who had returned to the rooftop amidst the commotion. A call to council for cat rescue elicited a quick response from ranger Mark Cooper who safely retrieved the cat, with the help of neighbours.