“It was an awful journey. We fought our way through traffic. We even saw other ambulances stuck in it. But even though I was scared about him flying, the fact he was there getting the treatment he needed, before we had even left Kent made it all make sense.” (Anjali, Oscar’s mum.)
Despite being born three weeks early, little Oscar was doing well at eight months old. However, in November – just three days after his mum, Anjali, had surgery to remove her gallbladder – Oscar was rushed into hospital.
He’d had a sniffle for a couple of weeks when he took a sudden turn for the worse. Anjali and Ben, his dad, were asleep when they were woken by the sound of Oscar’s crying and coughing.
Anjali said, “He was coughing so hard. He was screaming and gasping trying to catch his breath.”
They quickly called NHS 111 looking for advice on what to do next, but instead an ambulance was sent straight away, taking poor Oscar to the hospital in Margate where he was initially given a blue inhaler. However, by the morning, he had a tube in his nose and his mouth. The hospital had tried nebulisers, but they hadn’t helped. That was when Anjali and Ben really started to worry.
By night time, Oscar could barely breathe between coughs. He had to be sedated and was placed on a ventilator.
Anjali said, “That was when I was really scared. They told me he needed a break, in case his system failed. At that age they are so vulnerable.”
It turned out that Oscar distressingly had a cold, a chest infection and bronchiolitis all at the same time. He needed to be taken to another hospital in London where he could receive the specialist care Oscar so desperately needed.
That’s where the Children’s Air Ambulance came to the rescue.
His mum and dad rushed back to the hospital to kiss him goodbye and tuck his special monkey toy in with him for the flight.
Oscar’s flight took him just 30 minutes thanks to the benefits of travelling by air ambulance.
For his mum and dad, the same journey by road took over 3 hours due to terrible traffic that was common at that time of day. This would have been a journey that Oscar wouldn’t have been able to endure without making his condition much worse.
Oscar was in the world-renowned St George’s Hospital for three days receiving the specialist care he needed. Once his chest was clear, he was weaned off his ventilator – but his throat was still swollen, and he needed additional oxygen to help aid his recovery.
By Sunday he was well enough to travel back to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate for one more overnight stay, to help with his progress.
After that, he was allowed to go home and be with his loving family where he belonged.
Anjali said, “If I were to have the chance to meet the pilots, I would say thank you for taking care of him. They did an amazing job. I cannot believe the Children’s Air Ambulance is not government funded. They were so gentle. I said to them I don’t want him to go, but I know they are very experienced pilots. They do a wonderful job. We will never stop being grateful to everyone involved.”