Rebecca was preparing breakfast in their holiday accommodation in Westward Ho! and had just poured boiling water into the mugs for the coffee and turned to get the milk, when toddler Grace reached up and grabbed a mug, tipping the contents all down her chest and tummy.

Rebecca quickly pulled off Grace’s vest and Grace's dad, Jim, grabbed the screaming toddler and ran to the shower to hold her under cold running water. Despite never having had any formal first-aid training, they knew that cooling the skin was vital but to their alarm the pressure of the shower was taking the skin from Grace’s tummy.

Rebecca soaked a towel in cold water and cuddled her daughter to her instead. As Jim ran to the owners of their accommodation for help, Rebecca got into a bath of cold water with Grace. The room swiftly filled with emergency service personnel; a land ambulance crew, first responders and an aircrew from Devon Air Ambulance, including paramedics Dave Huyton and Mark Hawley with Dr Lucy Obolensky.

With morphine administered and Grace wrapped in a specialist film, Rebecca was relieved to learn that she could go in the helicopter with her young daughter. Strapped on to the stretcher with Grace on her lap, Rebecca’s thoughts were with Jim who was left on the ground to make the journey to Bristol by road.

In the week they stayed at Bristol Children’s Hospital, Grace was treated with sterile baths to remove the damaged skin. Rebecca was so proud of her little girl, explaining:

She was such a little trooper. Once the morphine had started to work she calmed right down and, other than hating the three sterile baths she had to have, she was brilliant throughout. She made such a remarkable recovery we couldn’t believe it. We are so grateful to everyone who helped us at that time.

Fortunately, Grace has been left with very little scarring and is now completely back to her usual, happy self. She is also enjoying being a big sister as the family have since celebrated the safe arrival of baby John, born on 12th November, and he is, of course, completely unaware that he’s already been in a helicopter!

The journey to hospital took 27 minutes by air ambulance and would have taken 2 hours and 10 minutes by road. It's thanks to our supporters that our aircrews are able to respond and act so quickly in time-critical situations. Can you help get the essential critical care that's needed to patients like young Grace? There are all sorts of ways to get involved, here are a few.

Little Grace recovering from her burns.