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Children’s Air Ambulance welcomes patient back to base

The Children’s Air Ambulance welcomed back one of their very first patients on the second anniversary of his vital flight. Baby Dominic, now two, got to play at being a pilot as he sat in the cockpit of the helicopter transfer service, as well as see the air ambulance up close a second time.

Dominic was born premature to parents Andy and Rachel Fuller in October 2013, while they were on holiday in the north east – 225 miles away from their Portsmouth home. Vulnerable and in need of life-supporting intensive care, little Dominic was taken to Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Lincolnshire, where he was looked after by specialist teams. However, it soon dawned on Andy and Rachel that they faced their baby’s first Christmas away from their family in Portsmouth. The journey home was at least four hours by road, and potentially perilous for the still very fragile Dominic.

To get him home for Christmas, doctors called the Children’s Air Ambulance and their partner NHS paediatric transport team, Embrace Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Child Transport, to his family’s rescue. He was safely flown home in just 1 hour 20 minutes, and was able to spend a happy first Christmas with his family.

Two years later, to the day, Dominic, Andy and Rachel made the journey to the Children’s Air Ambulance base in Coventry to visit the helicopter that helped keep their family together.

Rachel, Dominic’s mum, said: “It was very emotional to see the helicopter again. I wasn’t sure how I was going to react when I saw it at first, because it was such a difficult time, but it was lovely to meet all the staff and show Dominic the helicopter that helped him get home to us safely.”nnThe visit was also the first ever base from a former patient the Children’s Air Ambulance has ever had. Pilots and staff were delighted to meet little Dominic, and presented him with a birthday card signed by the crew for his birthday earlier in the week.

The Children’s Air Ambulance is an emergency inter-hospital paediatric helicopter transfer service, working with NHS clinical partner teams to take children from local hospitals to specialised paediatric intensive care units, as well as bringing fragile children like Dominic home.