Boy, aged one, who suffered severe burns now 'looking forward to Christmas'

Charlie Day who suffered severe burns but has recovered

Charlie Day suffered severe burns while on holiday at Fritton Lake. His family has moved to praise the air ambulance which rushed him to a specialist hospital much more quickly than he could have got there by road. - Credit: EAAA

The parents of a one-year-old boy have thanked medics who swooped into "a crazy scene" and airlifted their severely burned son to hospital, saving his life.

Charlie Day was on holiday at Fritton Lake, near Great Yarmouth, when he pulled a pan of boiling water over his face, chest, and torso, triggering a complex and co-ordinated response from the emergency services.

For his parents it was a traumatic battle to try and cool the burns as he screamed in agony, while medics have told of their struggle to land in the densely wooded area and rush the child to hospital as quickly as possible.

The first-hand accounts are being shared ahead of Giving Tuesday (December 1) when the East Anglian Air Ambulance hopes to raise awareness of the charity and its Virtual Gifts Christmas appeal.

Charlie Day who suffered severe burns

Charlie Day's parents say the air ambulance played a crucial role in saving their son's life, airlifting him to hospital in half the time it would have taken even under a blue light on the road. - Credit: EAAA

The drama unfolded in July, when dad Chris, mum Bailyn and one-year-old Charlie, from north London, were getting ready to leave the lodge.

As lunch was being prepared, Charlie excitedly burst into the kitchen, pulling down the pan and then screaming out instantly in incredible pain. 

Charlie’s parents rushed him into the shower to try and cool the burns as quickly as possible and dialled 999.

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In less than 10 minutes doctor Chris Chadwick and critical care paramedic Gary Steward arrived at the scene.

Pilots Steve Norris and Rob Gleave landed the helicopter on part of the holiday park, providing quick access to the lodge.

The burns Charlie suffered were very severe and he required advanced pain relief and emergency burn care before being flown to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, where a team was ready and waiting to treat him. 

Charlie Day who suffered agonising burns on holiday in Norfolk

Charlie Day is back to being a happy and active little boy after suffering severe burns while on holiday in Norfolk in the summer. - Credit: EAAA

By air, the flight took 45 mins - half what it would have done by road.

Chris, Charlie’s dad, went in the helicopter with Charlie and said: “I really can’t thank the ambulance and air ambulance teams enough for what they did for Charlie.

"They walked into a crazy scene with Charlie screaming in pain and us trying our best to cool his wounds down, but they were incredibly calm and quick in everything they did.

"They didn’t waste any time in treating Charlie and getting us to Broomfield.

"Most of all, they really helped me to keep it together.

"It all happened so fast and was absolutely terrifying. I think we might have lost Charlie if it wasn’t for them but the team, especially the doctor, who knew what to do and was very reassuring.

"They are true heroes.”

Once at Broomfield, Charlie went straight into surgery for specialist treatment, which included having biobrane mesh fitted, to promote healing.

Charlie was in intensive care for two days and spent 10 days on the burns unit, with his mum staying in the hospital as much as possible. 

Just a few months after this ordeal, Charlie was back to his usual cheeky self, very active and happy.

Some areas of Charlie’s skin have some pigment damage, which should resolve in time and he has a pressure suit to help with scarring.

Thankfully, due to the quick and expert treatment he received, he has made a wonderful recovery, shouldn’t have any lasting effects from the burns, and is looking forward to Christmas, a spokesman said.

Support the EAAA Crews this Christmas

By giving an EAAA virtual gift this Christmas, you will be helping to protect the crew, as they work 365 days a year, to help patients like Charlie.

Virtual Gifts help to equip the EAAA air ambulance crews with everything they need to save lives in East Anglia. 

Ranging from £10 to £225, the virtual gifts available include batteries, the gift of power, to make sure emergency kit is always fully charged and ready to go, fuel, the gift of reaching people in the quickest time possible, to items such as a pair of crew boots and a high vis jacket, the gift of protecting a crew member on scene.

Got to to order a gift for the EAAA crew. If you order by December 18, a gift card will be sent to you in time to Christmas, to pass on to your loved one.