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Ivy flies home to receive neonatal care

Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Kent

Stepping Hill Hospital, Greater Manchester

250 miles

First-time parents, Kate and James, were visiting Kate’s family in Kent when she went into labour at 33 weeks gestation (7 weeks early). Their daughter, Ivy, was born at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and was placed in the neonatal unit for close monitoring and specialist care.

The couple, who live in the North West, were over 250 miles from their designated hospital and home. They were completely lost with the thought of how they would get their newborn baby home whilst she was still so fragile and needed specialist care. Ivy faced either a two-month stay at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent until she was discharged home or her care plan would be stalled until she was strong enough to endure the long road ambulance journey home. Neither of these options would provide the best outcomes for Ivy and her parents, so Lia’s Wings was contacted to fly Ivy to a hospital closer to home by aeroplane.


Lia’s Wings flew Ivy 250 miles from Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent to Stepping Hill Hospital in Greater Manchester. We transferred Ivy in our flight-ready incubator that, along with our flight teams, creates a mobile neonatal unit just for her. Ivy did so well and slept throughout the entire flight! James drove to meet Ivy and Kate at Stepping Hill Hospital. We sent updates to James throughout the journey to let him know how it was progressing and how Ivy was doing.


Once at the new hospital, Ivy settled in quickly and doctors were able to plan for her long-term care. Stepping Hill Hospital was perfectly positioned for the family – just 3 miles from their home – meaning Kate and James can stay at home and have their support networks around them but also be close enough to visit Ivy every day and be fully involved in her care.

Ivy has come some far from when she was born and we are so glad that we could facilitate such a positive outcome for the whole family.

Kate, Ivy's mum says:

“Lia’s Wings played a very special role in the first week of my daughter, Ivy’s, life. While visiting family & friends 7 weeks before our due date, she surprised us by arriving at a gestation of 33 weeks .. and many miles away from our home & designated hospital! On day 6 of Ivy’s life, Lia’s Wings flew us from Tunbridge Wells to Manchester in order for us to join the Neonatal unit there. On the plane, Ivy and I were joined by two wonderful medical staff, who immediately made us feel comfortable and at ease, and two talented pilots who made sure the daunting journey was plain sailing. What began as a nerve-wracking day ended up being one of the best days of my life and one that I will never forget - I can’t wait to tell Ivy about her glamorous, jet-setting start to life! Ivy is now 7 weeks old and absolutely thriving. We will be forever grateful to Lia’s Wings.”

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