A Scarborough baby is recovering from an emergency operation after being the first infant to fly aboard the new national Children’s Air Ambulance.
The charity’s maiden voyage saw its helicopter scrambled to Scarborough Hospital to transport one-day-old Theo Mikova to a specialist paediatric care centre at Hull Royal Infirmary.
Following a difficult labour Denisa Mikova, 19, had to give birth by emergency Caesarean section to Theo, who was born five days late weighing under 5lbs.
Once Theo arrived, doctors realised he needed an operation on his windpipe, which had failed to join correctly to his stomach and would make him very ill.
Theo’s father Lee Ratchford, 26, said: “When we found out that he would be transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary. We thought we would be going by ambulance but then the helicopter came for him.
“I do appreciate a lot about what The Children’s Air Ambulance did for us. If it hadn’t been there Theo would have had to wait an hour in the land ambulance with all the shaking around.”
Theo was looked after on board by the Embrace Yorkshire and Humber Infant and Children’s Transport Service, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
This was the first emergency airlift of its kind to happen with The Children’s Air Ambulance and Embrace teams.
The pilots took off in the Agusta 109 Grand helicopter, adapted to carry specialist paediatric medical equipment, from Coventry Airport. They collected the specialist medical team from Embrace headquarters and travelled to Scarborough to pick up Theo. Once Theo was on board, flight time to Hull took 15 minutes. His parents travelled in a land ambulance to join him when he came out of theatre.
Alex Toft, of The Children’s Air Ambulance, said: “We are incredibly proud. This sees the culmination of eighteen months of hard work and dedication from our teams to get this aircraft off the ground.”