Four-year-old kid receives surprise helicopter ride
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It’s not every day a kid gets to live out his dream of riding in a helicopter, but that was the case for one special boy.
Paxton Tucker is only four years old but has already faced challenges more than most kids or adults have to experience.
‘He’d been diagnosed with Leukemia nearly a year prior to the day,” Dustin Ross, National Float Flight Paramedic with Air Methods Medical Helicopters.
Just like any other kid, Tucker was playing around the house when things suddenly took a turn for the worst.
“He was running through his house like a regular four-year-old and hit his head on the corner of the wall and almost instantly started acting funny per mom. And ended up going unresponsive. When we got there, he was unresponsive and actively seizing on the right side of his body,” Tucker said.
Ross and his team with air methods medical helicopters jumped into action to help another paramedic with intubation.
“We came in we were able to do that. They made a great call, they activated us early. We got there really quick and we were able to put him to sleep and put the tube down his throat. We stopped the seizure activity,” Ross said.
After tending to Tucker, Ross and his team notified the nearby hospital, Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred heart, where Paxton has been receiving treatments for his leukemia.
It was determined Paxton needed platelets.
Following a CT scan, it was discovered he had a traumatic stroke from a brain bleed.
Thanks to the fast-acting of Ross and his team, they were able to get Paxton to the hospital in time for treatment.
“Due to everything working out the way it did, he spent about a week in the hospital and fully recovered,” Ross said.
Through this entire experience, there was some silver lining.
“Prior to this, Paxton was a huge fan of aviation. His mom said he had a flight suit and had all kinds of toy airplanes and helicopters. So she actually took a picture of him while we were flying. Because she knew he wouldn’t believe he got to be in a helicopter and didn’t remember it. So she took a picture of it,” Ross said.
Ross says he and his team made it a goal to make sure that he could get a flight where he could remember.
Well, that opportunity came with his birthday only a few days away, Tucker was able to celebrate early and recover in style.
“Fly him around the island and let him see the beach. His second flight, but the first one that he remembers and he loved it and just seeing the smile on his face and the emotions the mom and the rest of the family had. It was wonderful and it makes doing the job worthwhile,” Ross said.
Paxton even got to see a few sharks while he was flying around.
Ross says Paxton has zero deficits from the stroke.
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