Royston mum thanks 'hero' air ambulance crew who saved baby's life

PUBLISHED: 07:01 24 January 2019

Emma Howard and her fiance Phil with children Dexter and Jessie and Dr Pam Chrispin, who helped save Emma and Jessie's lives. Picture: East Anglian Air Ambulance

Emma Howard and her fiance Phil with children Dexter and Jessie and Dr Pam Chrispin, who helped save Emma and Jessie's lives. Picture: East Anglian Air Ambulance

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A mum from Royston who said her home looked like a "bloodbath" when she began bleeding heavily while pregnant has thanked the air ambulance team who saved her and her baby daughter's lives.

Dr Pam Chrispin with Jessie, the baby she helped to save the life of in Royston. Picture: East Anglian Air AmbulanceDr Pam Chrispin with Jessie, the baby she helped to save the life of in Royston. Picture: East Anglian Air Ambulance

Emma Howard was at home in May last year with her three oldest children – Gracie, 16, Rubie, 13, and three-year-old Dexter when she felt “a really big gush” and began bleeding.

She told the Crow: “The pain kicked in straight away, it was a bloodbath, with blood everywhere. It was like a murder scene.

“I was bleeding to death, but I was pleading and begging to go to hospital – I just wanted them to save my baby.”

At 37-weeks pregnant, Emma had suffered a full placental abruption – meaning the placenta supporting her daughter Jessie had completely come away from the womb. She lost three litres of blood in total.

Gracie called Emma’s fiancé Phil, who was five minutes’ away working as a senior supervisor at Royston’s Hamleys, who rushed home.

She said: “My children witnessed the paramedics working to save me, and as much as we were trying to keep them away, they could obviously still hear it all.

“When the ambulance arrived the doctor took over the situation and was giving the orders. We left the house with the EAAA crew one minute after they arrived and went straight to the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge.

“Phil just thought we had lost the baby. We didn’t know what we were having, it was going to be a surprise.

“Everybody just knew it was critical. I had a caesarean section under general anaesthetic, and when I woke up in recovery and I was in so much pain I didn’t know what was going on. Phil was trying to tell me the baby had survived.

“It’s such a small percentage of babies that do survive this. Unfortunately Jessie was pale and not breathing so they had to resuscitate her. When she was stable she was taken to the NICU.

“She was quite unresponsive for the first four months and they couldn’t say if she was brain damaged, but she has really started to come on. She is now sitting up, she knows who we are and she smiles. She is just a miracle, she really is.”

On Wednesday last week the family, including baby Jessica who is now seven months, met Dr Pam Chrispin and other members of the East Anglian Air Ambulance crew who helped to save the mother and daughter.

“It was amazing, I wanted to thank them for everything,” said Emma.

“Dr Pam was so humble, she is my absolute hero.”

Dr Chrispin said: “It was such a thrill to meet Emma and Phil again with baby Jessie and see how well they are all doing. This is a terrifying thing for anyone to go through and I can only admire their strength. Not all air ambulance work is about technical skills, our clinicians also bring a huge amount of experience and decision-making capability to patients. It can be a difficult job at times, but it can also be emotional – so meeting Emma again and giving beautiful Jessie a cuddle will forever be one of my highlights.”

Emma also wanted to thank those who give blood, the Rosie NICU staff and Petals charity, who offered counselling to the family.

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