Kipp, Alexandra Part 2

Last year the O'Sullivan family's life was turned upside down when their two-year-old son Kipp fell sick with croup. Kipp seemed his normal healthy self to his mum, Kirsten. A few hours later he was borderline unconscious on the floor, fighting for breath - and life itself:

Imagine seeing your child semi-conscious, struggling to get enough air into their little lungs. Then imagine in happening in Central Otago, a long drive from the nearest emergency department. It's any parent's worst nightmare and it's what happened to Kirsten.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Starship's National Air Ambulance Service flies expert medical teams to children like Kipp. They travel to every corner of New Zealand to treat young patients for life-threatening illnesses and injuries and bring them safely to Starship for life-saving treatment and care.

Kipp's GP quickly transferred him to local Dunstan Hospital. From there he was rushed by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital, where an x-ray showed he had a severe pneumonia and was in respiratory failure.

Kipp was moved to the adult Intensive Care Unit, where the wonderful staff did everything they possibly could to keep him alive. They put him on a ventilator, but his condition continued to worsen.

Kipp's doctors knew he would need care from a specialist paediatric team. They made an emergency call to Starship.

The Starship Air Ambulance arrived soon after. Team members Di and Maike quickly realised that Kipp was too ill to fly in the state he was in.

They arranged for another Starship team fly down with a paediatric intensive care consultant, cardiac surgeon, theatre nurse, perfusionist and an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine.

That machine, specially designed for young patients, did the job of Kipp's hearts and lungs until he was stable enough to fly to Starship for treatment.

Kipp made a full recovery. He's now a happy healthy child again, back home with his family. Kirsten knows things could have turned out very differently:

The Air Ambulance Service from Starship is just incredible. Kipp wouldn't be here today without them.


I want to make sure that every child in New Zealand like Kipp, regardless of where they live, has access to life-saving medical care, whenever they need it. Will you please help make that happen? Thank you

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