Brothers doing Race to the Base for GNAAS

TWO young brothers are tackling the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s ‘Race to the Base’ challenge next month, after one of them needed the charity’s help when he was just a baby.

Isaac Hoey from Sunderland was only six weeks old when he stopped breathing while on a weekend break in the Mungrisdale area of the Lake District.

Speaking after the incident, which occurred in January 2018, his mother Helen Hoey said: “On the Monday morning we had packed the car and were ready to go home when Isaac started crying in his car seat.

“It’s normal for a baby to cry, but then he was having a coughing fit whilst he was crying and his face went blue, so I shouted for my husband Steven and between us we rang an ambulance.”

Isaac’s dad Steven Hoey performed CPR and managed to get Isaac breathing again just before paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service and a paramedic and doctor team from GNAAS arrived.

Isaac was administered oxygen by GNAAS’ critical care team before being airlifted to the paediatric intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where it was revealed that Isaac was suffering from bronchiolitis.

Isaac has since had a couple more bouts of bronchiolitis and has a constant cough, but he’s recovered well.

Last year Isaac, who is now five years old, and his younger brother Elijah, 3, took part in GNAAS’ virtual fundraising event called Race to the Base, which sees fundraisers cover distances that the GNAAS’ critical care team travel while responding to call-outs.

The brothers raised £730 for GNAAS by walking, running and scooting 32 miles in a month, and they’ve decided to do the challenge again this year, which takes place from 1 – 31 May.

The virtual challenge is open to everyone, and participants can choose to cover 32, 78, 130 or 380 miles.

Each distance is captained by a member of the charity’s critical care team and participants can complete the distance any way they want, such as running, walking, cycling, or swimming.

The brothers have signed up to Team Pilots, which is 32 miles and they plan to walk up Roseberry Topping as part of the challenge.

Helen said: “The service is so important particularly at a time when the NHS paramedics are under so much pressure. You just never know when you might need help from the air ambulance and as it relies heavily on donations, events like Race to the Base are a good way to show support and a great way to raise funds.”

Entry for Race to the Base is £10 and participants receive a fundraising pack and a cap to wear while covering the miles.

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