Meet Baby Elsie!
The Inch Family were delighted when their daughter Elise was born, however a few weeks later things went very wrong and Elsie soon needed emergency surgery.
Elsie has a congenital heart disorder and desperately needed specialist surgery when we were called in to fly her from North Devon District Hospital to Bristol Children’s Hospital.
It took about 30 minutes by air compared to the two hours it would have taken to cover 100 miles by road. And that made a huge difference.
When she arrived she was rushed into theatre in paediatric intensive care to have an emergency septostomy. This stabilised her condition. Two days later she had complex five and a half hour open heart surgery to correct a problem with the heart’s structure called Transposition of the Great Arteries.
He dad, Damian said: “When the WATCh team came down they were hopefully going to transfer her straight back up if she was stabilised but when they started to put a feeding tube in she was gasping for air and it took them four hours to stabilise her enough to fly. It was getting close to being dark but the pilot was keen to take off and she probably wouldn’t have made it if we hadn’t.’’
Once at Bristol she immediately had surgery. For Damian, from Cornwall, this was a time he will never forget.
“I thought I’d been dealt a crappy hand… we had tried for four years for a baby and now my daughter could die in front of me and my wife’s ill and 150 miles away in another hospital. I felt like I was having panic attacks, I was having trouble breathing – I’d never cried so much in my life.”
Thanks to the amazing effort of the surgeons, the WATCh team and the Children’s Air Ambulance, Elsie survived and has made an amazing recovery. She is now a cheeky little growing girl and her parent’s couldn’t be happier.
Damian Inch believes our transfer saved his little girl’s life: “She would’ve died – no two ways about it. Our family would’ve just been lost – I don’t know how you’d come back from something like that.”
It is only with your support that we are able to keep flying and saving children like Elsie. Please help us to continue our life saving work by donating today.