‘I knew she was in good hands’ - Mother watches newborn baby loaded onto air ambulance
- Credit: Archant
A first-time mother has described her fear and confusion while watching her newborn baby being loaded onto an air ambulance for a flight to their hometown 174 miles away.
Autumn-Rose was born by emergency C-section two days earlier at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston but needed to be transferred to a hospital in Kent as quickly as possible.
There is a parent seat on the helicopter but it was too soon after surgery for Kerri Barkway, 33, to fly with her daughter.
Ms Barkway and her fiancé Shane Deacon were on holiday in Beccles when they became concerned that she had not felt their baby move for a while.
At the James Paget Ms Barkway was attached to a monitor which revealed a problem with her baby's heartbeat so it was decided to perform an emergency C-section.
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After two days in the Special Care Baby Unit arrangements were made with the Children's Air Ambulance - a charity receiving no government funding - to transfer Autumn-Rose back to the hospital in her home town.
Ms Barkway said: "Autumn-Rose looked so safe and I knew she was in good hands. It was such an unexpected situation for me to find myself in and the helicopter pilots and team were amazing. They introduced themselves and talked me through the whole procedure for getting her home."
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She watched the Children's Air Ambulance take off and then had to wait to be discharged by the hospital before she and Mr Deacon could drive to Kent to be reunited with their daughter at the local hospital - a journey which took them over four and a half hours by road.
"It's amazing how quickly Autumn-Rose got to Ashford. My mum was waiting at the hospital for her and phoned to tell us she had arrived safely. When we got the call we were still in Great Yarmouth and I hadn't even been discharged," Ms Barkway said.
By the time she and Mr Deacon arrived in Ashford, Autumn-Rose was settled in the intensive care unit where she spent a week before being moved to the neonatal unit.
Autumn-Rose was finally discharged 26 days after she was born weighing 4.8lbs.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the lifesaving work of the charity can call 0300 3045 999 or visit www.childrensairambulance.org.uk