'We owe them our lives': Father praises Welsh Air Ambulance for saving one-year-old daughter after heart attack

"There's no way to put into words what you're feeling. It's fear, it's worry, it's the fear of the unknown and not knowing what's happening to my child."

Matthew Harris was confronted with any parent's nightmare. His 13-month-old daughter Ellie started having seizures before suffering a cardiac arrest, the first of two in quick succession.

She could not breathe and needed help quickly. The severity of her condition meant a conventional ambulance was not going to get her to hospital fast enough so an Air Ambulance was her best hope of a good outcome.

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Ellie was flown to Bristol where she was rushed for urgent surgery.

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Established on St David's Day 2001, the Welsh Air Ambulance has responded to over 30,000 missions in 19 years.

It's not currently a 24/7 service, currently operating 8am-8pm 365 days a year.

However, for many years the charity has been hoping to expand its capabilities overnight and become a fully round the clock service by the end of 2020.

The charity says any fundraising is a help to their efforts to keep the service running. "Whether you're an individual who wants to run a half marathon for us", says CEO Angela Hughes, "hold a charity concert, attend a bucket collection, volunteer at one of our shops or just help us spread the good word of Wales Air Ambulance, every single bit of support we are given will help us reach the next exciting chapter."

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Matthew and his family are now fundraising for the Welsh Air Ambulance charity as a way of saying thank you.

The woman was air lifted to hospital is 'critical condition' Credit: ITV News

"We are working closely with our medical partners, known as the 'Welsh Flying Medics', who have been exploring the out-of-hours demand to inform the type of service needed overnight", says the charity's CEO Angela Hughes.

"The service will evolve through a phased approach, the details of which are still to be confirmed. An announcement about that will be made at a later date."

The new 24/7 service will include road as well as air capability. As a precursor to the introduction of a 24/7 service, the 'Welsh Flying Medics' have already taken to the road overnight in a Rapid Response Vehicle.

Last winter and this winter, the 'Twilight Critical Care Car' has run over weekends between 2pm and 2am. It was introduced to help the increased demand for emergency care in South Wales during the pressurised winter months and includes the same emergency department-standard care as the daytime service.

Ellie is now doing well after her severe brain injury but the family hope more funds can be raised to provide that vital 24 hour service.