Hastings girl who was airlifted to hospital with form of coronavirus celebrates first birthday

A Hastings toddler who was airlifted to hospital when she was suffering with a form of coronavirus celebrated her first birthday on Sunday (April 5).
Scarlet with her mumScarlet with her mum
Scarlet with her mum

Scarlet Donaldson was just five days old, last April, when the Children’s Air Ambulance transferred her from Hastings to St George’s Hospital in London for urgent specialist paediatric intensive care after she suffered a series of apnoeas (temporary cessation of breathing) as a result of the disease.

The Children's Air Ambulance said Scarlet's condition was one of a family of coronaviruses that have made the jump from animals to humans.

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Her mum Charlotte, a single parent, travelled with her on the special parent seat inside the helicopter.

Scarlet celebrated her first birthday on SundayScarlet celebrated her first birthday on Sunday
Scarlet celebrated her first birthday on Sunday

“I couldn't believe how quickly the Children’s Air Ambulance got us to London. Had it not been available, Scarlet may not have survived the transfer by land ambulance,” she says.

It took the helicopter just 24 minutes to fly to London, compared with a road journey of two hours.

Scarlet was treated for the infection, her breathing and feeding improved and after five days she was well enough to go back to the local Conquest Hospital in Hastings where she stayed for another two days before being discharged.

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Now a healthy and happy little girl, Scarlet spent her first birthday at home with her mum.

Last week, Charlotte said: “It won’t be the birthday celebration we would have had before the lockdown situation we are in, but Scarlet will receive lots of presents and cards. She will see balloons for the first time which I’m sure she will enjoy and we’ll talk to grandma on Skype."

She said she will be forever grateful to the Children’s Air Ambulance for picking up a team from South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS), flying them to Hastings and then transferring them all to London.

She said: “I felt that Scarlet was in the best hands possible and was being taken to where she would get the best treatment possible. The helicopter was kitted out with all the latest high tech equipment and knowing she was receiving the same intensive care treatment in the helicopter as at the PICU, was a great comfort. This meant she was getting intensive care in the air.”

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The Children's Air Ambulance added: "Missions like Scarlets' wouldn’t be possible without public support – The Children's Air Ambulance are continuing their missions through this difficult period, providing vital support to the NHS and relying solely on donations. To find out more on how you can support the Children’s Air Ambulance charity please call 0300 3045 999 or visit www.childrensairambulance.org.uk."