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Ethan’s early arrival

Twenty-eight weeks pregnant, Tracy had no idea her life was in danger when she was rushed to Nelson Hospital after her midwife spotted potentially fatal symptoms.

It was shocking. Suddenly I swelled to twice my size,

said Tracy.

Her baby Ethan needed to be delivered right away. Unfortunately, Nelson Hospital did not have the intensive care facilities needed. So Life Flight’s emergency air service was essential.

In a race to save Tracy and her unborn baby, our Westpac Rescue Helicopter took off for Nelson. Ethan was born under emergency surgery as soon as our team arrived in Nelson. He was then immediately flown to Wellington Hospital.

“They loaded our tiny man into his travel incubator so quickly I hadn’t the chance to even meet him. He was so small I could not even see him through the window as they carried him away,” said Tracy.

At this point Tracy couldn’t fly with Ethan. She had to stay in Nelson for further treatment.

In Wellington, Ethan’s grandparents had braced themselves for his arrival.

“He was like a little bird fallen out of the nest. He was so see-through. You could see his heart through his chest and his veins,” said Ethan’s Grandmother.

Two days later, when Tracy was stable enough, we flew her and husband Ryan in our Air Ambulance Plane to Wellington Hospital to meet their son for the first time.

Ethan fought hard to survive. He was on oxygen for seven months in total. We flew him back to Nelson hospital during his recovery so he could be closer to the whole family.

Thanks to donations from our supporters, Ethan is now a healthy little boy enjoying family life with Tracy and Ryan at his side.