A teenager’s wish to meet the pilots who helped save her life is a step closer to coming true, following an appeal by the Evening Express.
Born almost ten weeks early, Jade McWilliam was rushed by air ambulance from Aberdeen to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital on March 16, 2001, after suffering a heart attack at just 12-days-old.
Initial plans to transfer the 2lb 2oz baby girl for surgery by ambulance were scrapped, with doctors fearing she wouldn’t survive the trip.
But thanks to the air ambulance team, Jade was whisked to Glasgow and became the youngest patient in Britain to undergo open heart surgery.
Steve Munro, area manager for the Scottish Ambulance Service, spotted Jade’s story online.
He said: “After seeing the story we went back through our historic flight log and saw we had a flight to Yorkhill which were around the dates suggested in the article.
“One of the pilots from that night still works with us now and we are in contact with the other.
“We are now looking at planning a meet up with Jade and her family later this year.”
Jade’s mum Margaret said she’s not surprised the air ambulance crew who worked that night remember her daughter.
She said: “The whole team that were with us that night were great.
“They helped keep me calm and I can’t thank them enough.
“After she made the appeal, Jade wasn’t sure if they would remember her, but I thought they would, especially given the size of her.
“Plus it was a very emotional experience for them all too.”
Tiny Jade was flown to Yorkhill while in a huge globetrotter incubator to keep her safe and monitor her condition.
Margaret said: “One of the crew had tears in their eyes when they saw her in that.
“They said they would look after us, I was just crying all the time. I don’t think you forget something like that.
“It’s great they have come forward and we’re all looking forward to meeting them soon.
“Especially Ian because he had to drive from Aberdeen to Glasgow that night while Jade and I flew, so he’ll get to meet them now too.”
Margaret is keen to give back to the people who have helped her daughter so much through her life, recently launching a Kintore volunteer branch of the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
She said: “We had our first meeting on Tuesday night and around 17 volunteers came along, so we were pleased with that for a start.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to organise some fundraising events for this year and raise more awareness of BHF and the good work they do.
“With Jade turning 16 soon I know she’ll be keen to help out as well.”