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Grateful Parents and Patients Say Support #TheCrew

Grateful families from across the UK are urging parents to support an initiative to raise money for the Children’s Air Ambulance – Great Britain’s only dedicated paediatric helicopter transfer service for critically ill babies and children.

Rachel and Jamie Stacey – Sussex

Alfie (now aged 4) was flown from Worthing Hospital to London’s Evelina Children’s Hospital over 60 miles away in just 15 minutes when he was on a ventilator and having severe difficulties breathing.

“Without the Children’s Air Ambulance our child may not be alive today. We are therefore urging local families to get involved with to raise money to help keep the helicopters flying.”

Ashleigh and Andy Bitmead – SurreynDeclan (now aged 10) was flown from London to Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital in 43 minutes when he was suffering from a rare and life threatening skin condition called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) that affects 1 in a million people per year.  To stand any chance of surviving, he urgently needed care from a paediatric intensive care unit, a burns unit, a dermatologist and an eye specialist.

Gemma and Nick Laking – Lincolnshire

Poppy (now aged 5) had been in hospital in Nottingham for specialist treatment for health problems she had to overcome in the first weeks of her life. The flight to Grimsby took just over an hour and was much faster and safer than a journey by road. Gemma and Nick are hoping their family’s story will inspire local parents to encourage their own children and friends to join a new club to raise funds for and awareness of the Children’s Air Ambulance in the Lincolnshire area.

Becky and Damian Inch – Cornwall

Elsie (now aged 2) was flown from North Devon District Hospital to Bristol Children’s Hospital in just 32 minutes – compared with a two hour road journey – when she needed emergency heart surgery.

Josh Christian (15) – Margate

Josh Christian (15) from Margate suffers with Hemiplegic Migraines – a symptom of a rare genetic condition he was born with – which can strike at any time. In October 2017 he was flown from his home town hospital to The Evelina Children’s Hospital in London to get the urgent specialist treatment he needed.

“The rapid transfer from Margate to London by the Children’s Air Ambulance was crucial in saving precious time. This became very apparent after the MRI scan revealed that there was a high risk of permanent brain damage if the pressure inside Josh’s skull wasn’t released immediately,” explains his Mum Claire Gregory.

Kirsty and Russell Clegg – Yorkshire

George (now aged 3) was flown from Leeds to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London in 65 minutes for lifesaving heart and tracheal surgery.

Great Ormond Street is 200 miles from his nearest hospital in Leeds, a journey difficult for any ill child, let alone one with so many critical conditions. It was felt a helicopter transfer would minimise the risks of moving George. The alternative was a four to five-hour trip down the M1, which would have carried more risks and potential problems for him.

The Children’s Air Ambulance receives no government funding and relies totally on public donations to remain operational. It has two state-of-the-art helicopters which fly out of airbases in Oxford and Doncaster. Aimed at 7 to 18 year olds, allows youngsters to learn new skills, make a difference and develop confidence and self-esteem within an organised club.

#TheCrew is a new childrens club where children can learn about saving lives, helicopters, medicines, fundraising and how the charity works. It is free to join with all members receiving a membership card, lanyard, badge, fundraising target chart and collection box. As well as individual children, schools are being encouraged to join #The Crew, which offers fundraising incentives and the chance to meet the helicopter crew for those who achieve certain targets.

Full details about how to join #TheCrew can be found here.