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Prestwich toddler’s medical drama featured in national charity Christmas appeal

Prestwich toddler’s medical drama featured in national charity Christmas appeal

The dramatic story of how a 13-month-old toddler from Prestwich was flown 340 miles to a specialist hospital after suffering a series of strokes is the focus of this year’s Christmas appeal for the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Indigo Haight was on holiday with her mum, dad, brother, and a group of friends when she had to be admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, Truro after she stopped using her left arm and leg and the left side of her face was drooping.

Emergency scans revealed that she had two masses on either side of her brain and abnormalities in her heart. While these investigations were being carried out she was having regular seizures that were getting worse each time they happened.

Eventually Indigo had to be sedated and transferred to the Intensive Care Department while decisions were made about how best to treat her.

Indigo needed specialist paediatric care and it was decided to transfer her to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

The national Children’s Air Ambulance took off from its base in Oxford and flew to Bristol to pick up a specialist retrieval team from Wales and West Acute Transport for Children Service (WATCh) to fly them to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

On arrival, the team prepared Indigo for the flight to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and accompanied her in the helicopter.

Her mum Leighanne was also able to join them for the flight as the helicopter has a seat for a parent to travel with their child.

It took 2 hours and 18 minutes to fly from Truro to Liverpool compared with a road journey in a land ambulance of 5 hours 39 minutes.

Doctors discovered that the strokes Indigo had suffered had been caused by a bout of chickenpox that she had suffered a few weeks before. She was given intravenous antibiotics four times a day and after three weeks she was well enough to go home.

Leighanne says:

“As it is the season of goodwill to all, I am hoping our story will encourage people to support this charity which keeps hope alive for families with critically ill children and babies. Indigo is living proof of the amazing work they do every day of the year – including Christmas Day,”

“I believe that without the Children’s Air Ambulance and the team on board she would not have received the vital specialist treatment she needed so urgently as quickly as she did and may not have survived.”

The Children’s Air Ambulance has continued to fly lifesaving transfer missions during this time, providing vital support to the NHS. The Christmas campaign will land with supporters on 18 November, to show your support, please click here.