Saturday, May 21, 2005

Emergency Landing

Since my last post I have been and returned from Spain to see my Dad who remained in hospital in a precarious condition to say the least.
It was whilst I was over there that I convinced my Mum it would be better for everybody if we got him back over to England by air ambulance. After much persuading she finally agreed and it was with a great relief to all of us when he arrived back today with Mum to a hospital very near where they live. The journey was supposed to be straight forward but it developed into a major drama and the next bit I write has not been beefed up at all and any of my family will verify it.
The plan was for the medics to collect him from his hospital in southern Spain in an ambulance and take him to Alicante Airport where a fully kitted out Lear jet/ air ambulance freshly arrived from Belgium would fly him direct to RAF Northolt. The flight was uneventful and Mum said he received the best treatment and care possible. On the approach to Northolt the undercarriage was lowered but the indicator light failed to illuminate in the pilots cockpit. They tried three times to land but each time the light wouldn't go on. It was decided by the RAF personel to take no risks and they were then diverted to Stanstead airport where they are more geared up for emergencies. My Mum had to assume the brace position and all my Dad's tubes and drips were disconnected which resulted in him momentarily struggling to breathe and turn blue. The plane landed amidst a full emergency scenario with ambulances and fire tenders standing by. The landing gear held and a disaster was averted much to the relief of my Mum and Dad and all of us dotted around London who were being kept up to date by the guy co-ordinating the effort. Dad was transferred to another ambulance and they were escorted part of the way by Essex police. Once on the motorway the ambulance switched his blue's and two's on and got Dad to the hospital in Harrow in quick time. I was waiting there with one of my sisters and we were extra pleased to see both of them safe and well. Dad has now been settled-in in ITU and is very comfortable and now hopefully he can begin his long road to recovery.
I was quite worn out after the days drama so decided not to bother going to work. There's always tomorrow.

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