The family of a baby whose life was left hanging in the balance after falling ill on holiday in Northumberland has met the air ambulance crew which saved her.
Scarlett Hall, aged 16 months, started struggling to breathe while she and her family, from Blyth, were at a cottage in Bamburgh on July 31.
When paramedics arrived, they realised the severity of the situation and called for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which had a doctor on board.
GNAAS doctor Rachel Hawes and paramedic Terry Sharpe, found Scarlett was critically ill and in peri-arrest, the recognised period just before someone suffers a full cardiac arrest.
The GNAAS team carried out an advanced operation called intraosseous infusion, drilling holes into the youngster’s legs to inject medication directly into the marrow of the bone.
After treatment, Scarlett was flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary in a critical condition. Dr Hawes said: “We were very concerned that she was not going to make the flight to hospital.”
The youngster was kept in intensive care for three days and spent a further five days on a ward, where she was diagnosed with diabetes. Dr Hawes added: “It was certainly the most serious case of diabetes which I’ve seen in someone so young.”
Mum Rachel Hall said: “They saved her life. If it wasn’t for the air ambulance getting her to hospital so quickly then she wouldn’t have made it. We have been told by many doctors how close it really was. We call her a miracle child now.”
Now, five weeks after the incident, Rachel and Scarlett as well as her brother Aiden and their dad John, have met the air ambulance crew at their base in Langwathby, Cumbria.
Rachel, 29, said: “It’s been brilliant to thank them in person. At the time, it was such a whirlwind and a mad rush. I had to stay calm for both of my children.” She added that Scarlett, who is now 17 months old, is back to her normal happy self.
Dr Hawes said: “It was such a pleasure to see Scarlett looking so much better. She is a fighter and is testament to the work of the air ambulance which saves lives around the region every week.”
GNAAS is a charity which relies entirely on the generosity of the public to survive. It needs to raise £4.5million every year to stay operational. For more information, visit gnaas.com