LITTLE Dominic Fuller is truly a Christmas present come early.
Last month his parents Andy and Rachel Fuller had travelled around 230 miles from their Portsmouth home to Louth, in Lincolnshire, for a quiet weekend.
But it was far from the peaceful break they had hoped for, as baby Dominic decided to make an arrival two months early.
Andy, 42, a railway worker, said: ‘Dominic was due on December 27, and we decided to visit my mother and have a quiet weekend.
‘But in the middle of the night Rachel was feeling a lot of pain, and thought it was false contractions.’
Very quickly the couple realised it was the real thing and called for an ambulance.
They were taken to the Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital, in Grimsby, where he was born within four minutes, and taken to the intensive care unit.
He was born on October 27, two months early to the date, and weighed 3lbs 10oz.
Doctors said Dominic would need to be in hospital for several weeks, but recognised the need for him to be closer to the family home in Chichester Road, North End.
Facing a five-hour drive would have proved too much for the tiny tot, so that’s when The Children’s Air Ambulance stepped in and airlifted him to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
Dominic’s 225-mile flight to QA took just one hour and 20 minutes.
Andy added: ‘By the time we had packed our stuff up and got ready to go, we had a phone call to say Dominic was already at QA.
‘It was all such a blur as everything happened so quickly.
‘It was an emotional time, and we thank everyone for supporting us.’
Dominic has been staying in the neonatal intensive care unit, in QA, where he has been making good progress.
Mum Rachel, 41, said: ‘I’ve got two other children, one is 20 and the other 15, but both of them arrived full term.
‘When I was having my contractions, I was still convinced I wasn’t in labour – I thought I was having back pain.
‘But it all became real very quickly.
‘We’re so grateful Dominic was brought back to Portsmouth.
‘He now weighs 4lb 7oz, and once he starts feeding we should be able to take him home.’
The couple hope to have him home later this week and in time to have his first Christmas with the family.
The Children’s Air Ambulance service receives no funding from the government and is entirely reliant on donations made by the public.
Andy Williamson, from The Children’s Air Ambulance, said: ‘Two years ago our charity recognised the need for this new helicopter transfer service.
‘It’s incredibly moving to speak to parents such as Andy and Rachel to hear first-hand how our service, funded entirely by the incredibly generous public, can make such a difference to them at an extremely stressful and emotional time.’
To make a donation go to thechildrensairambulance.org.uk/firstchristmas