Whilst travelling home on the motorway from a holiday in Scotland with her family, Victoria started to experience labour pains at only 28 weeks into her pregnancy. After searching for the nearest hospital, Victoria, her husband, daughter and parents in law rushed to the Royal Bolton Hospital where Arthur was born within two hours of reaching the hospital.
“I just couldn’t believe that I was going into labour”, Victoria said. Born nearly three months early weighing only 1.3kg, Arthur was cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit. Victoria said, “The care at the Royal Bolton was incredible, everyone was incredibly kind and really cared for us.
“Arthur was very fragile and we were told that he would probably need to be in hospital until his due date – which was in three months’ time. We knew that Arthur received the highest standard of care at Bolton, but we were desperate to get home. Our 20 month old daughter Juliette was 200 miles away at home being looked after by grandparents. We missed her so much, it was very difficult being separated from her.”
Arthur was too fragile to travel by road ambulance, so his medical team at Kingston got in touch with Lucy Air Ambulance for Children (Lucy AAC) about the possibility of transferring him by plane.
Only three days after Arthur was born, Lucy AAC confirmed that they would be able to fund Arthur’s flight and get him home within a week.
“I just remember being utterly overwhelmed when I heard the news”, Victoria says. “I was so humbled by the idea that people I didn’t know had raised money for a charity that I didn’t know existed, to fly Arthur home.”
Six days later Victoria, Tom and Arthur said their goodbyes to the staff at the Royal Bolton. Victoria remembers: “It was a very emotional day for me. I was so excited to be going home but I burst in to tears when we said our goodbyes to the staff at Bolton. The care at Bolton was amazing; it felt like we were leaving Arthur’s home”
Arthur flew in the Lucy AAC incubator which helped keep him safe and comfortable throughout the flight. Victoria sat alongside him on the journey; a very emotional journey for her. She says: “The flight home was a relief and the staff on board were really supportive.”
They arrived at Kingston late in the evening, and once Arthur was stable and settled in to the Neonatal Unit, Victoria and Tom were finally able to go home.
The next morning Victoria woke up to a wriggly run and hug from her daughter Juliette. This was the first time they had seen each other in over a week. Victoria says: “I was so desperate to see her!”
With the family reunited, Arthur has been showered with support as he progresses and braves through illnesses. He is growing and surprising the staff with his bravery and progress every day.