A child whose confidence was badly knocked when he suffered a life-changing seizure on his birthday enjoyed a big surprise yesterday.
Helicopter-mad Bradley Spanton (8) was excited to hear he would get to look inside an air ambulance as a belated birthday present.
Sawtry-resident Bradley, who has been living with an artificial heart valve and a pacemaker since he was a baby, was diagnosed with epilepsy after being struck by a life-threatening seizure on April 22.
At the time, Bradley was at home in Crabapple Close with dad Charlie (32) his partner Zoe Page (22) and her 16-month-old son Alfie.
After he started drooling and staring blankly into space, Charlie called for an ambulance and put Bradley in the recovery position.
Bradley received vital treatment from Magpas Helimedix who landed on a Sawtry Junior School playing field near Bradley’s house before he was taken to Peterborough City Hospital by land ambulance.
So keen is Bradley on helicopters that the first thing he said on waking up in hospital was whether the Magpas helicopter was the birthday surprise he had been promised, when in fact he was to receive a pet rabbit.
Having suffered a big loss of confidence following the seizure, and with the added disappointment of not being able to look inside the helicopter, Bradley was thrilled when Dr Tom Odbert (who flew to help him in April) came into his class at Sawtry Junior School and invited him for a VIP guided tour of a Magpas helicopter.
The tour at the voluntary service’s base in Huntingdon also included birthday cake and balloons.
Dad Charlie said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. They made him feel welcome and really boosted his confidence.
“Since the seizure happened he’s been down and not talking so much. But today his eyes lit up. He’s here eating chocolate cake and you can see it’s doing him well.
“There was no stopping him when we got to the helicopter. He opened the door and jumped in. He was saying ‘what’s this, what’s that?’
“He has always loved helicopters flying around. He had lots of toys and used to have different helicopters.”
Explaining Bradley’s loss of confidence following his epilepsy diagnosis, Charlie said: “He does not know what it’s all about. He does not know what he can and cannot do.
“I took him to the fair but I can’t let him go on anything.”
And on the treatment Bradley received on the day of his seizure, Charlie added: “Magpas were amazing. They came out to him and gave him such good care.”
After his helicopter visit, a surprised but excited Bradley said: “I had a good day. It was really fun.”
Dr Odbert said: “It’s been a really nice day. It’s a privilege being here and great to see him smiling in the helicopter with his dad enjoying the day.”