Published: 12:04, 09 September 2020
| Updated: 12:07, 09 September 2020
A toddler took 24-hours to come round after suffering a fractured skull in a car crash which saw his pregnant mother narrowly escape injury.
Now, two years after little Isaac McDonagh suffered such severe injuries, he has started school and his family has thanked Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex for saving his life.
His parents, Olivia Brockman, 24, and fiancé Michael McDonagh, 26, were driving with Isaac to their friends' wedding rehearsal when their car was hit from behind while they sat in traffic in Goudhurst, near Tunbridge Wells.
Olivia and Michael were unharmed but Isaac had been knocked unconscious and had a dent in his head.
Olivia said: "It was just unbelievable. I was in shock. We didn't hear the air ambulance land because we were just so zoned out. I was 24 weeks pregnant at the time as well so had the extra worry of having an unborn child.
"The air ambulance people were so reassuring, so friendly. They were trying to do anything to keep us comfortable and keep us involved while they tried to help Isaac."
The air ambulance took the family to King’s College Hospital in London where doctors found Isaac had a depressed skull fracture, which left him unconscious for 24-hours. Luckily, there was no damage to his brain.
The Pembury mum added: "I honestly dread to think what would have happened. I really believe he wouldn't be here if they weren't so quick to attend to him.
"They intubated him at the site of the crash so that wouldn't of happened without them.
"Now, we quite often see them fly over as we live near a hospital. Isaac doesn't remember the crash but he knows how they helped him and what they do. We always wave and say thank you as they go past.
"Their work is just unbelievable as a charity. You never know when you will need them or anyone you know or love is going to need them.
"We have got to continue to support them and keep them flying."
Isaac, now four, has just started school and is loving every minute of it, with his parents cherishing every milestone he reaches.
Lynne Harris, executive director of income generation at the charity, said: "It's absolutely lovely when we get to speak to previous patients like Isaac.
"It's incredible what our crews can do but they can only do this because people get behind and support, donate or fundraise for us.
"It costs £14 million to run our service and 89% comes through donations and fundraising. So when that fundraising is challenged in the way that it has been this year, it does become very difficult. We just haven't been able to do the things we'd normally do."
This week is National Air Ambulance Week and to mark it, the service has launched their 30 for 30 Challenge encouraging people to do a sponsored activity inspired by the number 30 every day in September.
For example, Cary Kwaramba-Downs from Greenhithe, is running 30 minutes a day for the 30 days to raise money and thank the air ambulance for saving her boyfriend’s life after a serious motorbike accident.
This coincides with Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex's 30th anniversary and reaching 30,000 lives saved.
Donations will help bridge the £1.4 million deficit which the charity needs to plug this year to ensure they are available to save lives 24/7 with a rapid response team including a specialist doctor on board.
The director added: "It's been absolutely phenomenal the people have really got behind us and they obviously realize that we're an absolutely vital service. We're so grateful to all of them.
"At the beginning of lockdown we were forecasting a deficit of around £2.9 million, and we've already raised over £1.5 million. That is thanks to everybody who is behind the scenes in so many different ways to support the appeal."
When taking part in the 30 for 30 Challenge, be sure to tag @airambulancekss #kss30for30 on social media with any photos or videos of what you decide to do.