Why we fly
“We felt totally helpless as we watched our son struggle to breathe, the life slowing drifting out of him – he fell unconscious, not responding at all – we thought we’d lost him.”
Oliver Wright was just 15 years old when he had his air ambulance flight.
Like any teenage boy, Ollie has a healthy appetite. One day in summer 2016, he grabbed a few cookies before leaving for school, only to feel unwell when he got there. He was sent home with a presumed tummy bug.
But as the day went on, Ollie didn’t get any better. And when his mum and dad got home that evening, they found him in a terrifying condition. He was barely breathing, lying on his bed, his face turned grey. He had suffered a severe allergic reaction to peanuts in the cookies he had eaten that morning.
Terrified, they grabbed his asthma inhalers and phoned for an ambulance. The wait was agonising.
Mum Nicola said: “We felt totally helpless as we watched our son struggle to breathe, the life slowing drifting out of him – he fell unconscious, not responding at all – we thought we’d lost him.”
When the ambulance service did arrive, they saw straight away how critical Oliver’s condition had become. They needed advanced medical help from the local air ambulance’s Critical Care Team, and called for backup.
Having just put the helicopter away for the night, critical care paramedic Danny Evans and Dr Leon Roberts were already out on the road in the night car. When they received the call for back-up they were just two minutes from the house.
Nicola said: “The crew were amazing. It was like a whirlwind as they worked fast to help our boy. I travelled with them and Ollie in the back of the ambulance to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. Dr Leon was so calm and reassuring but I couldn’t help feeling scared. As Ollie’s mum, it was without question the worst day of my life. It’s frightening to know how vulnerable we are and how precious life is.”
Thankfully, Ollie was able to make a full recovery. He was kept in intensive care for three days on life support, then spent a further day at the hospital. After just a couple of weeks off school, he was fighting fit again.