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Family's tribute to Children's Air Ambulance on Jack's special day *International Story*

By Lori Little - Head of Content - Isle of Wight, County Press

A BOY from the Isle of Wight — who was flown by the Children’s Air Ambulance when he needed emergency specialist heart surgery as a four-week-old baby — celebrates his seventh birthday today (Friday).

Jack Rowley is now an energetic, fun, caring child who loves going on bike rides and playing with Star Wars Lego sets.

His mum Abi Robbins, of Newport, said: “The helicopter transfer gave him the best chance of survival. I can’t really find the words to tell you how grateful we all are that the Children’s Air Ambulance was there for us. Everything could have been very different without their help.”

She will never forget the day in April 2014 when Jack was flown from St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight to Southampton General Hospital — the nearest hospital where he could receive the specialist lifesaving treatment he needed.

The flight took just eight minutes compared to a journey by land ambulance which would involve a ferry crossing.

The helicopter picked up specialists from the Southampton and Oxford Retrieval Team (SORT) and flew them to St Mary's Hospital to prepare him for the crucial flight to the mainland.

He needed to be transferred from portable oxygen to a ventilator, then sedated, to make his journey as safe as possible.

By the time Abi and Jack’s dad Mike joined their son at Southampton General, he had been fully prepared for surgery. However, unbeknown to them, the worse was still to come as Jack’s tiny heart stopped just before the operation.

Had he been in a land ambulance when this happened, the consequences could have been disastrous.

But thankfully, the surgery to correct Jack’s heart defects was successful and he responded well to treatment. The family were able to take him home just ten days later.

Since then, he hasn’t looked back and is now, according to his mum “a typical little boy.”

Plans for his seventh birthday are limited because of lockdown restrictions but as soon as allowed Jack will be treated to a day out at his favourite farm park.

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Global Medevac Note: International flights and ambulance service operate by municipal funding. In America, almost all insurance and medicare provisions do not cover the complete cost of ambulance care. Had this family needed this service in America, they would be exposed to tens of thousands of out of pocket costs. A Global Medevac Membership would leave a zero balance, and create a peace of mind unique to the medical insurance/payer industry. We are unique, there is not a service like what we do for Americans.

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