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First Birthday celebration for Doncaster baby flown in the Children’s Air Ambulance

A baby from Doncaster – who was flown back to the local hospital by the Children’s Air Ambulance after she was taken to Oxford for urgent specialist treatment hours after being born – will be one year old on 18 December.

When Kathleen Boswell was born at Doncaster Royal Infirmary both she and her mum Claire Garner could have lost their lives.

Due to an umbilical cord prolapse, a category 1 emergency C-section had to be performed within 30 minutes because of the immediate danger to them both.

“Kathleen’s birthday will be a big day and I have many memories of our helicopter transfer – for which I will always be very grateful. We are planning a Minnie Mouse themed celebration with our family bubble,” says Claire.

Kathleen was born with three minutes to spare, she was rushed into intensive care and two hours later taken by land ambulance to a hospital 147 miles away for urgently needed cooling therapy (hypothermia treatment) – because doctors were worried she might have suffered brain damage.

“I’m just so glad that we both made it. Kathleen is one very special girl who came into the world. We will always be grateful to the Children’s Air Ambulance for getting our precious fourth child home quickly and safely after her treatment,” says Claire.

She only saw her new-born daughter for a few minutes before she was whisked away.

Two days later Claire was well enough to be driven to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by a relative to be reunited with Kathleen who, by then, was responding well to the treatment.

After five days doctors said Kathleen could go back to Doncaster to establish feeding as, at this point, she was being tube fed.

This is when the Children’s Air Ambulance, working with a specialist neo-natal team from Embrace – Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Children’s Transport Service (part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust) – were able to get mother and baby quickly and safely back to the hospital where Kathleen was born.

Being able to travel with her daughter meant so much to Claire after the trauma of them being separated at birth. She says:

“It was really important for me to be able to fly with Kathleen as I wasn’t able to be with her when she went to Oxford.”

“My baby was being constantly monitored and watched thousands of feet in the air, that’s quite a thing on its own. They made sure everything she needed was in place and she was alright. I was kept up to date and told how things were every time they checked her.”

It took just 49 minutes to fly Claire and Kathleen from Oxford to Doncaster, compared with a road journey of just under three hours.

The Children’s Air Ambulance will continue to fly vital missions over the Christmas period, like it has all year round, providing constant support to the NHS. The frontline charity relies on public donations to be able to keep helping critically ill babies and children and to keep families together.