On 24th April 2019, the Rogers family from Newtownards had their world turned upside down.  What started as a normal day for 4-year-old Cillian, playing with his dinosaurs and eating pizza, suddenly turned to tragedy when he was knocked down by a motorcyclist.  The HEMS team arrived by Air Ambulance and working with NIAS paramedics, the team carried out critical care interventions at scene before transporting to hospital.  Cillian suffered a brain injury incurring several bleeds on the brain, a blood clot as well as a fractured skull and femur. He spent 9 days in Intensive Care at the Royal Victoria Hospital for sick children, 6 of those days he was in an induced coma. Cillian’s recovery has been slow but thankfully, he was able to return to school part-time and is making good progress.  His mum, Courtney recalls: “I remember Cillian being in the coma in Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and begging him just to wake up and it wouldn’t matter what we had to face just as long as we could cuddle him one more time and because of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland we have the chance to do that every day”.

Today, the Rogers and McCobrey families will celebrate ‘Cillian’s Day’, their plans for a family getaway weekend are on hold, but they plan on a video call to mark the occasion.

Since it’s inception in July 2017 the Air Ambulance has been tasked 1,393 times, this is only possible with donations from the public, we rely on the incredible generosity of the public to keep the service operational.  Our events have been cancelled quite rightly to protect the most vulnerable in our society against this pandemic however, it does mean that we have seen a huge decrease in money that we can raise to maintain our lifesaving service. If you are in a position to make a donation you can do so here.

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