Children's Wales Air Ambulance

It is our aim to serve the whole of Wales, including Wales' youngest patients.

The Children's Wales Air Ambulance is a specialist division of our charity, providing the expert care and transport required for paediatric and neonatal patients. Our fourth helicopter makes us the largest air ambulance in the UK and is used for providing a range of treatments for paediatric patients.

We help around 400 children and babies a year, either on emergency 999 missions or by using our dedicated transfer helicopter.

A family camping trip to Cornwall will always be a holiday to remember for the Griffin family after their baby daughter decided to make her appearance 6 weeks early.

Premature baby, Jorgie Faith, was named Faith after the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance gave her family faith when they flew the newborn back home safely to Wales following her early birth.

The family from Abercarn, South Wales, were originally hoping to enjoy a camping holiday, whilst engineer dad Andy was working in a hospital in Cornwall. Mum, Lucy, travelled to Cornwall with her two children, Riley, 6, and Millie, 3, to meet her husband.

During a brief pit stop, Lucy got out of the car and she thought her waters had broken. Due to the fact the baby wasn’t due for another 6 weeks, she tried to reassure herself by thinking it was too early and continued her trip over Bodmin Moore. Whilst driving she continued to get backache but quickly put it down to being sat in the car for so long.

Lucy and the two children arrived at the campsite and met Andy. She then started to lose more amniotic fluid and then knew for definite that her waters had broken.

When Lucy arrived at the hospital, it was confirmed that the baby had no water surrounding her and she was also in breech position.

Just three hours later, Lucy started getting strong contractions and was rushed to the delivery suite, facing what she thought was going to be her giving birth alone.

She said: “It eventually all slowed down. I was advised that I couldn't travel back home, where I would have support and childcare, and they thought I would go into labour the next day.”

In the meantime, her husband travelled back to Wales, so he would be closer to family in Bristol for childcare if the birth was imminent.

Lucy reflects on the difficulty of being in Cornwall and being away from her family. She said: “I had been taken in and out of the delivery suite numerous times. I was physically and mentally drained. They decided they would do an ECV (turning the baby by applying pressure on the abdomen) because she was breech and then they would induce me. 

“This happened to be a success, so my husband took my children to Bristol and travelled up to be at the birth when I was induced.”

Baby Jorgie decided she had other plans and two minutes after the midwife started the induction she flipped back into a breeched position and the induction had to be stopped.

For the safety of Lucy and the baby, the medics decided that Lucy would have a C-section. At 34 weeks and 3 days, baby Jorgie Faith was safely delivered, weighing 4lb 15oz.

Little Jorgie went straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she had a little help and a feeding tube inserted. She was reunited with both parents for 30 minutes before her dad had to leave.

Her emotional mum said: “We then didn’t know when we would be seeing him or my other two children again. This is where the Wales Air Ambulance team stepped in and mentally saved me after already spending one week without my two children, 130 miles away from home. The Wales Air Ambulance agreed to assist with the transfer of Jorgie to the Royal Gwent Hospital and I was reunited with my husband and two children.” 

Due to the fact the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance needed a NICU doctor and nurse on board to transport the baby, her parents had to travel home separately.

Also on board the aircraft were Wales Air Ambulance Helicopter Transfer Practitioners Jez James and Ruby Thomas.

Lucy will always be grateful to the medics who allowed her husband to see his daughter before boarding the helicopter. She said: “My husband travelled back to take me home. The moment that I will always treasure is the medics allowing my husband onto the helipad to see Jorgie for the first time after his brief time with her following her birth. It was emotional.”

Reflecting on the importance of the Children’s Wales Air Ambulance, Lucy said: “What the team do is truly amazing and magical. They all took part in saving my daughter's life and my mental health. 

Despite her difficult birth, Jorgie, who struggled with jaundice and her weight, is doing amazing and only spent 11 days in hospital.

As the baby gets older, she will be told about her difficult birth. Her mum said: “I will tell her how crazy it was, but also how lucky she is to have the help of such a great team. Her middle name is Faith because that is what the Wales Air Ambulance gave us.