Hitchin family 'incredibly grateful' to ambulance service for saving daughter's life

PUBLISHED: 17:06 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 31 July 2019

Charlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Richard Smith

Charlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Richard Smith

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A Hitchin man has thanked ambulance and NHS staff for saving his toddler's life after she choked at nursery.

Charlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa DentCharlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa Dent

Richard Smith's 23-month-old daughter Charlotte started choking at lunchtime last Thursday, and was unable to breathe. Nursery staff gave her CPR at the scene and called an ambulance. Police were first to arrive at the nursery, followed shortly after by the ambulance service.

Richard said: "She was transferred by ambulance to Hitchin's Pinehill Hospital to meet the air ambulance in Pinehill Park, and then either in the park or near the park she was treated by the doctor who had flown in on the helicopter.

"From what I can tell they saved her life at that point. She was intubated so that was probably the critical moment.

"We'd made it as far as the nursery, but we didn't know what was happening."

Charlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa DentCharlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa Dent

Richard and his wife Annie were rushed by police to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where they waited for their daughter to arrive in the helicopter.

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Richard said: "She had a miraculous recovery. She spent a couple of days in Addenbrooke's in intensive care and she came home on Sunday."

"We are so grateful for what the emergency services did, but particularly the air ambulance because they're almost exclusively charity-funded - and we'd love to raise some money for them."

Charlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa DentCharlotte Smith from Hitchin was saved by the air ambulance after she choked at nursery. Picture: Alexa Dent

Charlotte's parents, who also have a five-year-old son called Milo, have now set up a JustGiving page to raise money for the air ambulance and thank them for saving their daughter's life.

Richard, who is 35 and lives in Chennells Close, said: "Charlotte's a lot better. She's groggy, but other than that you wouldn't have any idea what had happened to her. I don't think she has any idea.

"We just feel incredibly grateful and humbled by how professional and caring everyone was. They really looked after us and not just Charlotte.

"It really struck me just how many people were involved - the police, ambulance staff, the doctor that treated her on site and the NHS staff. It's really just a big thank you to them.

"We're massively relieved - it was a scary experience."

To donate to the cause go to justgiving.com/savingcharlotte.

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