Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) were delighted to welcome a young helicopter enthusiast to their base recently. Aaron Accleton-Scialpi, who is six years old, is a patient at FrenchayHospital after being involved in a car accident near Bude, North Devon. Aaron and his mother were travelling home when the car they were travelling in hit some ice and rolled over last month. They were both airlifted to DerrifordHospital in Plymouth, but Aaron has since been transferred to the Barbara Russell Children’s Unit at FrenchayHospital in Bristol. Aaron suffered a nasty head injury in the accident and following surgery he is now recovering well.
Since his arrival at FrenchayHospital, Aaron has been playing with a toy helicopter and telling other patients and staff how a helicopter and an air ambulance crew saved his life. Knowing that Great Western Air Ambulance’s base in Filton was located close by, Frenchay Hospital play assistant Kate Derrick contacted the charity to arrange for Aaron to visit.
Kate said: “It is so important for children who are in hospital for long periods of time to be given opportunities like this to leave the ward for a special visit if they are well enough. Being outside of a hospital environment again is an important part of their recovery and rehabilitation, as well as being a fantastic treat for them.”
Aaron’s father Daniel has been staying with his son at FrenchayHospital while his wife remains at DerrifordHospital. Speaking after the visit to the base, he said: “My wife and I are extremely grateful to the wonderful staff at FrenchayHospital for all that they have done for Aaron. It has been great for him to visit Great Western Air Ambulance Charity’s base today, and I would like to thank Pete Sadler and the charity team for making it possible – they have made Aaron’s day.”
GWAAC is currently trying to raise £250,000 of additional funds for a new Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter in order to replace the ageing Bölkow 105 model that it currently uses as part of a campaign called ‘Movin’ on Up’. A new helicopter would attend to patients four minutes faster, would allow a mother and child to fly to hospital together and would allow more space for the patient, equipment and mid-air treatment. For more information about the campaign, visit www.greatwesternairambulance.com