Paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) helped to make 10-year-old Jamie’s dream come true when they trained him up to become a ‘paramedic’ for the day.
Jamie has the terminal genetic condition Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumours to grow along his nerves. Despite not being very well, Jamie likes playing paramedic games at home. His greatest wish is to become a member of the emergency services, helping other people.
The event was organised by Rays of Sunshine, a children’s charity who help brighten the lives of children who are living with serious or life-limiting illnesses.
Jamie said: “I feel honoured to be chosen to work as a paramedic for the day. I would like to thank everyone for making my wish come true.”
Jamie’s day began at the SWASFT North Bristol Operations Centre where paramedics taught him some basic life-saving techniques. Jamie then travelled to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) airfield, learning how the critical care team use their specialist skills and equipment to treat the most critically ill patients at the scene of an incident.
Jamie’s mum, Mary, said: “Jamie’s expectations for his wish day were totally surpassed, all thanks to the Rays of Sunshine organisation, and SWASFT ambulance/air ambulance services. This was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience, not only for Jamie, but for us all! We could have never have fulfilled Jamie’s wish to become a real life paramedic without help from Rays of Sunshine. Jamie and ourselves would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts.”
Rebecca Wilson, Paramedic Learning and Development Officer, for SWASFT said: “We really enjoyed having Jamie train with us. We put together a number of emergency training scenarios with our manikin HAL (a Gaumard high-fidelity manikin) who can replicate any medical emergency. Jamie enjoyed responding to the incidents in our emergency ambulance on full blue lights and sirens. He’s amazing and took on board all our clinical instruction. He’s definitely a future paramedic in the making.
“Now Jamie can do basic life support, he can take blood pressure and temperature as well as checking vital observations and give life-saving CPR compressions which he carried out on HAL and other crew members. Jamie can also give lifestyle and eating advice to keep people healthy and scoop and load patients onto a trolley. He was really fun to have over, and we all wish him all the very best from the team at South Western Ambulance Service. A big thank-you to the crew that helped on the day.”
Rebecca Miller, PR and Digital Communications Manager for GWAAC, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Jamie and his family to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity air base, and to help make his wish come true. Members of our Critical Care team – a crew of specialist paramedics and doctors – ran through some simulations with Jamie, and he got the opportunity to meet the pilot and sit in the helicopter and Critical Care cars. We had a great afternoon showing Jamie the ropes and we were impressed with his paramedic skills!”
Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine, added: “We couldn’t be more thankful to Great Western Air Ambulance Charity and the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for helping us pull off such an incredible wish. Every day Rays of Sunshine gives brave and deserving young people the chance to put their illness on hold and Jamie’s wish is no exception.”