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Freya, 2, saved from choking on her favourite toy
A two-year-old Sussex girl received life-saving surgery after choking on a cuddly toy.
Freya Ross, from Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, was at home with her mother Rachel when she began choking on her beloved toy dog.
She was whisked by air ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where she had emergency surgery and has since made a full recovery.
Sainsbury’s in Haywards Heath has now named the Sussex Air Ambulance as its charity of the year following the incident.
Freya’s father, Shoreham Fire Station watch commander Mark Ross, previously ran the Brighton Marathon following the incident in April.
Paramedic Charmi Rogers, based at Haywards Heath, said: “On a personal note, I know the family as Mark is a firefighter who used to be based at Haywards Heath and have met his wife and Freya on several occasions before this incident.
“Rachel had been attempting back-slaps but to no avail and was also in a very distressed state. I continued with back-slap and trying to calm and reassure both Freya and Rachel.”
Freya’s father said: “In my occupation I’ve worked on scene alongside the air ambulance many times, mostly at road traffic collisions, but it’s a new world when it’s your own family.
“I’ve seen their worth over the years and what they can do by getting that immediate critical care to the scene. I’ve seen the benefits of their early medical interventions in the past.”
The air ambulance team spoke directly to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, to ensure paediatric anaesthetists were waiting for Freya when she arrived.
She underwent emergency surgery at the hospital and was kept in overnight before being allowed home the next day and has since made a full recovery.
Staff at Sainsbury’s will be holding a family day weekend on December 8 and 9, featuring air ambulance mascot Dr Dudley, an exhibition unit and a store collection.