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Shawn flies home to receive neonatal care

Rennes, France


260 miles

Plane journey icon

Shawn was born 3.5 months early, at 26 weeks gestation, whilst his parents were in Rennes, France. Shawn had a long stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit because his parents couldn't find a way for him to be transported home - he still required constant respiratory support.

During his time in hospital the family were separated for over a month as Jake, Shawn's dad, had to go back to the UK for work. This put additional strain on the whole family's mental health and wellbeing, especially Shawn’s mum, Carol, who stayed with him at the hospital in Rennes.

Shawn 2

Desperate to get Shawn home, the family contacted their local Neonatal Unit in Portsmouth to see if they could help bring Shawn home. Subsequently, a Neonatal Consultant from Portsmouth contacted Lia's Wings directly to ask if we could support this family as this was outside their area of expertise.


Immediately we contacted the family, planned the transfer, and flew Shawn back to the UK within weeks of receiving the referral, after helping them sort his necessary immigration/travel documents.

Jake, Shawn's dad, says:

"We were put in touch with Lia's Wings and we couldn't believe they offered to fly our premature son and his mother home from Rennes in France. It was impossible to transport them any other way due to his medical needs and they had been stuck there for four months which was a very difficult time for us. We will be forever grateful to this amazing charity and its supporters."

Shawn 3
Shawn at home

Shawn had a short hospital stay at Southampton General Hospital where they planned a long-term care package and organised his home oxygen requirements. The family were also able to access extra support for them as a unit.

After over four months in hospital, Shawn was discharged home and the family of three are now thriving and finally to enjoy family life.

Charlotte, Lia's Wings CEO, says:

“It was a privilege to work with Shawn’s family and reunite them. It was important to us that Shawn was able to access the appropriate care, but also that the family was reunited. I have seen such a transformation in the family unit. This family’s situation has shown how important it is for our charity to have a family-centred approach. ​ We take so much pride in moving these babies but our end goal is always about safeguarding the whole family’s wellbeing. I’m so glad that Shawn’s family are able to begin their life as a family of three.” ​​

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