Our son, Leo, was born on 12th June 2017 over 14 weeks premature and weighing just 790 grams – less than a bag of sugar. I was in London away from my home city of Dundee. It was a big shock and I was in no way prepared for having my baby.
When we were referred to Lucy Air Ambulance for Children we had never heard of them before but were pleased when Nicola made contact with us to offer their services. Lucy liaised with us, the transport team and our medical team to arrange the flight for 4th July. It was much better to know what date we would be travelling but it was going to be a stressful day!
The charity was in constant communication and talked us through everything that would happen. On the day I met the consultant and nurse who would be travelling with us and preparations were made. Leo was put back on a CPAP machine and cannulated to keep him stable for the journey and make it easy to perform any medical interventions that might be required. The transfer team were all very experienced and put us at ease.
I was to go in the plane with Leo and his dad, Ross, went ahead on the train with our luggage. The transfer consisted of a blue light ambulance trip from Central London to an RAF base, a 90 minute flight on a fixed-wing aircraft to Dundee and a short ambulance journey from Dundee airport to Ninewells Hospital. Throughout the journey Leo was very stable and slept well. The confidence and proficiency of the staff was impressive in such isolated conditions. We were given a very warm welcome at Ninewells Hospital and Lucy Air Ambulance stayed in touch until they knew we were settled at home.
At seven weeks old Leo is making good progress. He is gaining weight and reducing the oxygen, tubes and drugs he needs to support him. The transfer has meant that we are all closer to home; we will have the support of our family for the majority of Leo’s hospital stay and will benefit from the lower costs of living at home rather than the predicted long, costly stay in London.
Knowing that Lucy AAC is a charity funded solely by the generous donations of the public makes us even more grateful for and impressed by their thoughtful and effective service that steps in for children where our public services often cannot help.