A Gwendraeth family will be celebrating a special Christmas this year after fearing that it would not come.

29-year-old Jess and 36-year-old Jamie Howells of Drefach, near Cross Hands, will be celebrating their son Jack’s third Christmas in an extra special way, after just a few months ago, they thought they would lose him.

In February, then-13-month-old Jack fell and hit his head on the floor. The couple first put it down to a typical toddler fall and that he would feel better after a few kisses and cuddles. However, Jess’ intuition told her that something was wrong, and shortly after, Jack became disorientated and tired. The couple immediately rushed him to A&E, but before they were able to get there, Jack started being sick.

They pulled over and called 999 but his condition deteriorated rapidly as he continued to be sick and turned pale, becoming floppy and unresponsive.

Llanelli First Responders and paramedics were called, alongside the Wales Air Ambulance, who were operating out of their rapid response vehicles rather than helicopters due to the weather.

When they arrived, Dr Mike and critical care practitioner Rhyan thought that Jack had a bleed on the brain, so they gave him general anaesthetic, medicine to help minimise the bleed and placed him on a ventilator to control his breathing – treatment that is usually only done in hospital.

South Wales Guardian: Jack is now thriving.Jack is now thriving. (Image: Wales Air Ambulance)

Jess said: “As parents, what we were experiencing was something that would only happen in a nightmare. We gave him a kiss so that he knew we were with him, and it was at that point that we saw the tiny neonatal ventilator kit. Jack looked so small and fragile.

“We were unable to travel with Jack but received a police escort. We didn’t know if he would survive and before setting off, they gave us an opportunity to say goodbye. The journey seemed like the longest of our lives.”

Jack had large bleed on the brain and fractured skull. He had emergency neurosurgery and was treated in intensive care. He was off sedation, awake and off the ventilator within 48 hours and has since continued to thrive, reaching all his milestones.

Jess continued: “It is going to be a busy and emotional December. We have Jack’s birthday and several Christmas activities planned as well as a special family Christmas – which is going to be extra special this year.”

The couple have also benefitted from Wales Air Ambulance’s aftercare service with support from patient liaison nurse Jo Yeoman and were able to meet Dr Mike.

Wales Air Ambulance has launched its Christmas appeal – Jack’s Christmas Wish – supported by the family.

Jess said: “Many children will ask Santa for toys, but it is Jack’s Christmas wish that the charity can continue saving lives and helping people. 

“Please help to make his Christmas wish come true and donate to this lifesaving service. You never know when you or your loved ones might need them.”

To support the charity and help them save more lives like Jack’s this Christmas, you can donate by visiting walesairambulance.com/achristmaswish.