27

Mar 20

Alistair and Victoria Grenfell have raised £24,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance after the Yorkshire Air Ambulance saved their then five year old daughter’s life when she was critically ill two years ago.

On the 24th January 2018, Beatrice Grenfell, aged five, from Whitby, was sent home from school due to feeling unwell.

“She was a little bit hot, but didn’t seem that poorly”, said Beatrice’s mother Vicky. “She asked to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and she seemed okay.” Vicky briefly left the room and when she returned, she found Bea unconscious.

“When I came back into the room Bea had been sick and wet herself and she was staring blankly into space and was completely unresponsive. She then went into a prolonged seizure and began to turn blue”, said Vicky.

Vicky called 999 and the land ambulance arrived to assess Bea, followed shortly by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. It was then decided that Bea would be flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough, a journey which would take an hour by road, but took only thirteen minutes by air.

Bea was seen on the major trauma ward where she was put into an induced coma, then transferred into paediatric intensive care where she spent three days, whilst doctors worked on discovering what was wrong. A series of tests revealed that she had contracted Influenza B and RSV, both life threatening conditions in such a young child.

Luckily Bea made a full recovery, but in March, she received results from of her MRI scan and it revealed that Bea was showing signs of Neurofibromatosis type 1, which was one of many conditions doctors had been testing her. Further tests then went on to confirm she does have the condition.

Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumours to develop on parts on your nervous system such as your brain, spinal cords and nerves and can lead to other chronic health conditions. It is often diagnosed in childhood and affects 1 in 3000 children.

Last year Victoria and Alistair organised a 12 hour  Dance-a-thon in Whitby which was a huge success and this year, Alistair also took part in the Yorkshire Marathon.

Victoria said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have just hit the £24,000 mark raised for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the fantastic charity which was part of an incredible team of people who saved our then five-year-old daughter’s life when she was critically ill just over two years ago.

We are eternally grateful to this fabulous charity and we also want to say a massive THANK YOU to all of our wonderful family and friends from all over the world, as well as the amazing people of Whitby, who have so kindly donated funds and raffle prizes, given their time to help plan for, orchestrate and attend events and given their support in so many ways to keep this total rising.”

Kevin Hutchinson, East Community Fundraiser for the YAA said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Vicky and Alistair for their generosity and support and everyone who helped make their events a success.

It costs £12,000 a day to keep both of Yorkshire’s Air Ambulances maintained and in the air and the money raised will help tremedously towards the vital funding of our service.”

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