Royston uncle gives thanks after emergency air ambulance team saves baby’s life

Ashley Penn with his nephew Samuel.

Ashley Penn with his nephew Samuel. - Credit: Archant

A Royston man has taken on a tough physical challenge to give back to the charity that saved his nephew’s life.

Back in October, the day after Ashley Penn held his nephew Samuel in his arms for the first time, panic struck when the three-day-old began struggling to breathe.

Unbeknown to his family, baby Sam’s stomach wasn’t properly connected to his oesophagus, meaning he hadn’t been able to get any milk and was exhausted.

The family called 999 and when paramedics arrived, Sam’s mother Lisa said she has “never been so relieved to hear the air ambulance was on its way.”

Sam was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he received emergency surgery.

Lisa said: “The on-board doctor and crew were calm, efficient and reassuring, we were at the hospital in less than 10 minutes.”

Their quick action meant that Sam was saved in time and there were no lasting effects, apart from hospital visits now and then for checks.

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Starting on Saturday at 10am, the 27-year-old will tackle the Three Peaks Challenge – to scale Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis – in 24 hours with school friend Richard Dale for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Lisa added: “We are so grateful for what they did for us that day and are very proud of Ashley who is doing something amazing to raise money for this worthwhile charity.

“You never know when you might need it like we did. Now Sam is a happy, smiling baby.”

To donate to Ashley’s fundraising page, visit