by Bree Catterall - Insurance Broker, Abbott Group
It was just like any other day when Shane Petersen set off for work at one of Taranaki's land-based oil rigs.
At 29 years of age, the young father of two was fit, healthy and earning great money as an assistant driller on land rigs around the region, a job he'd enjoyed for six years.
Shane has little recollection of the day his life changed. He collapsed on the rig and was airlifted to Taranaki Base Hospital. He had suffered a seizure and the days that followed were to deliver a frightening diagnosis.
The seizure was caused by a tumour on his brain, and a week in ICU and many scans showed suspected grade five brain cancer. Within weeks he underwent brain surgery, with the biopsy showing grade three cancer. Extensive radiotherapy followed and Shane's long recovery started.
Unable to work during the treatment and with a return to his job on the rig under threat, Shane was delivered some glimmer of relief, knowing that financial support was in place through his insurance cover.
"I had always wanted to protect my family and had invested in life and trauma cover. The trauma cover provided a huge help, letting me focus on recovering without worrying about money and the mortgage," says Shane.
"It's been four years now and the cover not only gave me big financial relief but also gave me extra money to do vitamin C infusions which have helped a lot."
Although a return to work on the rig hasn't been possible, Shane is now working as a drainlayer and is back in the water enjoying surfing with mates.
He could never have imagined the changes that day, four years ago, would bring, but has confidence knowing his children are taken care of financially should something happen to him.
"It's a huge relief knowing I still have life cover in place that would look after my two beautiful children if my health was to get worse again."
Photo credit: Hurley Taranaki, S Hurley Photographer