Back to top anchor

Phoebe's flight for life

When baby Phoebe's organs began to shut down, Life Flight’s Air Ambulance Plane flew her to Starship Hospital to get the urgent care she needed.

Without Life Flight we wouldn’t have our wee girl in our lives.

Markelle Archer, Phoebe’s mother

Three days after her birth in Wellington Hospital, baby Phoebe became very agitated and started to scream. Her mother, Markelle, recalls how Pheobe began to turn blue as her organs started to shut down.

The doctors were not equipped to treat her in Wellington Hospital and so the call was made to Starship Hospital in Auckland. The doctors there advised that Phoebe needed to get to Auckland - immediately.

As time was of the essence, and Phoebe was in a fragile state, our team were called to fly Phoebe to Auckland to get the critical care she needed.

Phoebe and her parents were flown on our Air Ambulance Plane where she could receive constant medical attention from our team. The hospital had said there was no guarantee Phoebe would survive the flight and so her parents prepared for the worst.

It was a struggle to keep her alive during the flight

Markelle Archer, Phoebe’s mother

Phoebe made it to Starship Hospital where she was put in a coma for 10 days before receiving open heart surgery. It was at Starship where she was diagnosed with Hypoclastic Left Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart defect where the left side of the heart hasn’t formed correctly.

Two more open heart surgeries would follow for Phoebe, and four flights on Life Flight’s Air Ambulance Plane.

Thanks to your support, which helped Phoebe get the care she so desperately needed, she is now a happy little girl who has just started school.

Thank you for your generosity that made this possible.

*Top image photo credit: Kevin Stent/Stuff

Phoebe and Lily
Photography: Lindsay Keats

*You may recognize little Lily - another remarkable Life Flight patient - with Phoebe. Both born with Hypoclastic Left Heart Syndrome and flown on our Air Ambulance Plane, they are close friends.