(Reuters) - A U.S. woman who was stuck at a South Pole research station for weeks after suffering an apparent stroke was evacuated by plane Monday to a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Renee-Nicole Douceur, 58, of Seabrook, New Hampshire, said in a telephone interview with CBS's "The Early Show" program that she would undergo testing Monday.
"I'm feeling elated now that I'm in Christchurch, New Zealand, waiting for my diagnostic testing," she said. "We're finally going to find out what has happened and where do we go from here."
Douceur suffered what was believed to have been a stroke in August, leaving her with speech and vision problems.
Doctors at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, a U.S. research facility where she worked as a manager, recommended an emergency evacuation because they did not have advanced diagnostic equipment.
But Raytheon Polar Services, which manages the facility for the National Science Foundation, and the foundation said severe weather at the pole, where the temperature was -72 degrees Fahrenheit/(-58 C), would make an evacuation too dangerous.
"I had thought originally that the company and the National Science Foundation would have basically taken care of any individual and not made hasty decisions even while I was still in the clinic with brain swelling," Douceur told CBS.
"However, I totally do understand about the logistics and dangers of having an air crew in here. I would never have an air crew come in to rescue my life if it would put them in danger. It was basically, 'Why aren't the company and National Science Foundation following their own policies and procedures ... when the doctors are saying she needs to get out of here right away.'"
Douceur's family had started a petition drive, sought help from a U.S. senator and set up a website and Facebook page to push for an earlier evacuation.
Douceur had to wait until Monday's scheduled cargo flight out of the research station.
She said the results of diagnostic testing in New Zealand would determine when it would be safe for her to return to the United States.
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Paul Simao)