Why we fly

Arlo’s Story

’It would have been a more traumatic journey by land ambulance. The helicopter didn’t bother him or me – he was transferred, he was there and he was safe.

Sharon, Arlo's mum

When Arlo Sheridan was born five weeks premature 150 miles away from home we flew him and his Mum Sharon to their local hospital in York.

Now a healthy and active little boy, Arlo loves running and climbing. He’s started swimming and goes to nursery twice a week.

“He’s picking up new words every day and getting his own opinion on what he does and doesn’t want to do!” says Dad Tom.

How we helped Arlo

Arlo Sheridan was just three days old when he needed the help of the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Mum-to-be Sharon had suddenly gone into labour while she was visiting family in Leamington with her husband Tom. They hadn’t long arrived at her sister-in-law’s house after driving down from York when things took a dramatic turn.

Sharon’s waters broke in the early hours of the morning and she had to be rushed to nearby Warwick Hospital. After seven hours in labour she gave birth at 10.15am. Arlo was five weeks premature and only weighed 5lbs 4oz.

He was placed in the Special Care Baby Unit so his weight and temperature, which were both causing concern, could be very closely managed.

Sharon said: ‘’When he was born they put him on my chest for a quick cuddle and then took him off to check him over. They wanted to make sure he was getting enough food and tube fed him straight away.

‘’He was a little bit small but they said he was a good enough weight for the time he came but other than needing to put on weight and maintain his temperature he was actually quite a fit and healthy boy.’’

Because he was born far from the family’s home in York, the hospital was looking for a way to transfer Arlo to a hospital nearer their home.

They needed the quickest and safest option for a baby in that condition – and that was the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Sharon was able to make the Children’s Air Ambulance flight with Arlo and a team from our clinical partners Embrace.

The flight took off from a nearby school and was waved off by excited pupils who broke off from lessons to watch. It took just 45 mins to make the 150 mile journey to York General Hospital.

Sharon said a journey of more than three hours by road in a land ambulance would have been extremely difficult compared to the short journey she enjoyed in the air ambulance.

She said: ‘’He was more settled in the helicopter than he was in the ambulance. If I’d had to spend three hours in a land ambulance it would have been more upsetting than 45 mins of getting there and getting him settled again.

Once at York Hospital, Sharon was able to start feeding Arlo herself and he was home by the Saturday – a week after his birth.

Now he’s at home, Arlo has gone from strength to strength and Sharon and Tom are delighted that their first child is doing so well.

Sharon said: ‘’He’s thriving. He’s absolutely fine, 100 per cent fit and healthy.’’