News Sky Fall: daredevils raise funds and adrenalin levels to thank hospital staff Andy, Mike, Eddie, and Adam are four daredevils from Brackley, Northamptonshire who have done something quite incredible to thank our hospitals for life-saving care. Last summer, at just four weeks old, Andy Prescott’s (pictured left) new-born son, Rafe, was rushed to the Horton General Hospital Emergency Department, after becoming unwell with a temperature and difficulties feeding. Within seconds of their arrival to the Emergency Department, Rafe’s condition deteriorated, and he became unresponsive and floppy. He was put on oxygen, while lifesaving tests were carried out. The family were eventually told that Rafe was very poorly with sepsis, and that further treatment was needed at the Oxford Children’s Hospital. State of the art equipment in our hospital laboratories that are able to diagnose conditions like sepsis and meningitis really quickly have been funded by Oxford Hospitals Charity, thanks to the generosity of people like you. The family were transferred and began their lengthy stay while Rafe underwent lifesaving treatment. Rafe’s mum Edlene explains: ‘Once we arrived at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, Rafe was too exhausted and weak to feed properly and so was being tube fed, which was hard for me because not being to feed him myself and feel that bond was tough. ‘As the days went on and further tests were carried out, it was discovered that our baby had a kidney reflux and couldn’t empty his own bladder which meant more treatment was needed. Of course, we were all devastated, but we were at the beginning of what I can only describe as every parent’s worst nightmare.’ At first, Rafe’s weak condition and low blood platelet count meant that doctors were unable to carry out a lumbar puncture. Once he’d gained some strength, the diagnosis that everyone had been dreading was confirmed: Rafe had bacterial meningitis. Over the next 21 days, Rafe’s condition gradually began to improve, and the family were able to see (and hear!) their little boy getting stronger. After another short stay back at the Children’s Ward at the Horton General Hospital, Edlene, Andy and Rafe were finally allowed home, where the youngster has continued to go from strength to strength. To thank the medical teams who looked after Rafe, Andy and his friends took part in a 15,000ft tandem skydive and raised over £6,500! Andy explains: ‘We are so happy to have been able to give back to the hospitals in this way. Although we were all a bag of nerves before the jump, we knew the importance of this skydive and it spurred us on – particularly a lot of courage was needed as the plane door opens! ‘We’ll be forever grateful to the teams at the Oxford Children’s Hospital and Horton General, as our baby wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for their quick thinking and expert knowledge.’ We’re totally inspired by Andy and his friends and delighted that Rafe is now doing so well. What superstars you all are!