Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex
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Michelle Draper

15th Oct 2019

It started out as just a normal day. I dropped my son Charlie at school in the morning and headed off to work as usual.

Later on, I received a phone call. It was the school. I was being told that Charlie had tripped and fallen, and that he was in a critical condition.

Time stood still. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I often wonder what he’s getting up to during the day and imagine him having fun, running around with his friends on the playground as children should. But to hear that he had fallen and didn’t just get up and brush it off made no sense. How could this be happening?

I rushed to the school to find the doctor and paramedic from Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex already at Charlie’s side. I can’t describe the feeling of seeing my eight-year-old son lying on the concrete playground in the rain, unconscious. I was terrified.

Charlie had hit his head when he fell. He was unresponsive and having constant seizures. The crew knew exactly what needed to be done. When they assessed Charlie, they were very concerned about his head injury so they placed him into an induced coma right there on the playground. This treatment was vital – it prevented further swelling to his brain, stopped the seizures and meant they could control his breathing

The crew decided to fly Charlie to St George’s Hospital in London, a Major Trauma Centre that could give him the best care. After what felt like the longest 24 hours of my life, Charlie finally started to wake up and respond in small ways.

For any parent to nearly lose a child and then face the possibility of brain damage is beyond words. But over the next eight days, our son, and his personality, gradually came back to us.

We wanted to give something back, so last summer we held a barbecue to raise funds for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex. The whole village got involved and Charlie even organised his own sweet stall. Together, we raised enough to fund two air ambulance missions that will help two other people in need.

None of us ever know when, or where, we might depend on this vital service, which itself relies on donations. For us, it is deeply heartening to know that the quick response and remarkable care available to our son continues to be available for each and every person who needs it.

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Choose an amount to give

£7.50 per month could help to buy a bespoke kit bag used to transport life-saving equipment to the scene of an incident.

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Choose an amount to give

£50 could help to provide fuel for one of the six missions our crew get called to in a 24 hour period.