Why we fly
Jess and her family had been on their way home from a christening when the unthinkable happened. Unexpectedly, Jess ran out into the road – straight into oncoming traffic.
The next thing her mum knew, she was kneeling over her little girl in the middle of the road, watching her drift in and out of consciousness and praying that she would just keep breathing.
When we were called to Jess’s side by East Midlands Ambulance Service, our crew sprang into action.
It was immediately clear that, alongside other injuries, Jess was suffering from a major trauma to her head. Our crew stabilised her, giving pain relief and swiftly and safely transferring her to our helicopter and taking flight to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to measure different levels of consciousness and goes from three to 15, with three being unconscious and 15 being fully alert. Jess was a nine at the scene – by the time she reached hospital, she had gone down to a three. She was rapidly deteriorating.
“As she lay in the road, Jess was not looking at me, but just staring, her eyes flickering. I could tell she was going downhill there and then. I just kept thinking – oh my god my child is going to die in my arms.
“Then I heard the helicopter and there was a sea of orange people. It means the world that the air ambulance could be there that day – the doctors have told me that is she had travelled by road she wouldn’t have made it. The air ambulance crew saved her life.” – Katie, Jess’ mum
Jess spent several days in an induced coma. When she was woken, she had to learn to swallow, talk, sit up, stand and walk. But remarkably, just 18 days later, she was discharged. Less than a month after her accident, she had made a full recovery.
For Jess there was no time to spare. The speed of the helicopter and the expertise of our crew at the roadside were key to her recovery.