The Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme, funded by Freemasons across the country, has now launched into the skies over Bedfordshire and the East of England after being taken up by Magpas Air Ambulance. At times of trauma, which the Magpas medical team deal with 24/7, something as simple as a teddy to hold can calm young patients, or the children who unfortunately witnesses accidents involving family or friends.
As Magpas Air Ambulance only attend the most seriously ill and injured patients in the region, keeping young patients and witnesses calm is a great help to their doctors and critical care paramedics. Daryl Brown MBE, Chief Executive at Magpas Air Ambulance said, “We’re excited to be one of the first air ambulance services to take part in the Teddies for Loving Care scheme. Last year, Magpas Air Ambulance attended one critically ill child a week on average, and our clinicians’ work really hard to provide these children with the very best possible care in really difficult circumstances – having the TLC teddies to hand will help our doctors and paramedics give these children some extra comfort and something to cuddle while we treat them or a close member of their family.”
Someone who knows how crucial the care Magpas Air Ambulance provide is Edie, who at the age of 9 suffered such severe breathing difficulties her mum, Claire, couldn’t wake her up. After calling 999 an EEAST paramedic crew arrived but recognised they needed the advanced skills and knowledge of the Magpas Air Ambulance team – who flew hospital level care straight to Edie, at her family home – before accompanying her to hospital.
Claire explained, “Thanks to the excellent care Edie received from the Magpas team, she did really well and was home the next day. Edie has Rett syndrome which in itself brings so many challenges, I honestly think if it wasn’t for Magpas Air Ambulance coming and giving her specialist antibiotics before we left for the hospital, it may have been a very different story.”
Now part of the Teddies for Loving Care scheme, the first child to receive a bear from Magpas Air Ambulance was Edie – who was sent one in the post. Claire said, “Edie smiled as soon as I gave her the bear! She is non-verbal so the eyes and smiles speak volumes!”
Tony Henderson, the head of Bedfordshire Freemasons, said ‘The TLC teddy has become an invaluable tool for medical professionals and a real comfort for children. All children who receive a bear of course get to take it home. We have distributed over 29,000 teddies to Bedford and Luton A&E departments, and it’s great to know the Magpas Air Ambulance crew now have the TLC teddies as part of their kit’
Magpas Air Ambulance is the oldest emergency medical charity of its kind, and since 1971 they’ve treated over 60,000 patients. They are also the Air Ambulance service most likely to attend a Bedfordshire incident. Magpas Air Ambulance is not a state-funded service and rely on generous public donations to continue saving lives.
Edie with her TLC bear