Former patient flown by Children’s Air Ambulance as a baby now an energetic little boy as he celebrates sixth birthday
Former Children’s Air Ambulance patient, Oscar Howard from Ashford, Kent has just celebrated his sixth birthday.
When he was eight months old, he was flown from the local general hospital in Margate to St George’s Hospital, London with severe breathing difficulties.
He had been diagnosed with a chest infection and bronchiolitis and needed urgent treatment at a specialist paediatric unit.
His mum, Anjali says: “There was a time back then when I feared he may not reach his first birthday, let alone his sixth.”
But thankfully Oscar made a full recovery and is now a very energetic, cheeky and happy little boy who is obsessed with dinosaurs and loves being outdoors.
His parents will be forever grateful to the Children’s Air Ambulance for flying him to the specialist care he needed in just 30 minutes – compared with a road journey in a land ambulance of over three hours.
Oscar’s birthday reminds them of how the Children’s Air Ambulance charity was available when he needed a quick transfer.
His dad Ben says: “Getting him to hospital so quickly saved his life and we will always be thankful that such an amazing service exists.”
Oscar was admitted to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in November 2015 when what started as a flu-like cold quickly developed into breathing difficulties so severe that he had to be sedated and placed on a ventilator.
He needed specialist paediatric care quickly and thanks to the Children’s Air Ambulance – working with a team from clinical partners South Thames Retrieval Service – Oscar was transferred to London by helicopter.
“We really thought we were going to lose him but because he got to London so quickly, he was being treated and improving by the time it took Anjali and I to drive to the hospital,” says Ben.
Once his chest was clear, Oscar was weaned off his ventilator – but his throat was still swollen, and he needed additional oxygen to help aid his recovery.
Three days later he was well enough to travel back to Margate by land ambulance for one more overnight stay before returning home.
“Anyone with a child or grandchild should know what a vital service the Children’s Air Ambulance provides. It is a charity and receives no government funding, so we are happy to share Oscar’s patient story to help raise awareness and funds to keep the helicopters flying,” say Ben and Anjali.