Sawtry pupil’s helicopter birthday surprise

Dr Tom Odbert of Magpas with Bradley Spanton and his classmates

Dr Tom Odbert of Magpas with Bradley Spanton and his classmates - Credit: Archant

After flying to his aid at Sawtry Primary School earlier this year, Magpas Helimedix returned last week and made sure eight-year-old Bradley Spanton had a day to remember.

Bradley, who has a condition that means he needs an artificial heart valve and a pacemaker, suffered a life-threatening seizure while at school on April 22.

Unbeknown to the crew onboard the Magpas helicopter, it was Bradley’s eighth birthday, which he spent the remainder of in Peterborough City Hospital.

Knowing how much Bradley, who has since been diagnosed with epilepsy, loves helicopters, Magpas gave Bradley a belated birthday surprise.

Magpas’s Dr Tom Odbert, who attended Bradley in April, knocked on his classroom door at 11am last Wednesday (June 10) to whisk him off in the Magpas emergency response BMW for a VIP tour of RAF Wyton, the home base for the charity’s chopper.

“The team arrived during playtime in the morning and all the children loved it,” said Antonia Brickell, Magpas’ head of communications. “The school was fantastic and Bradley hasn’t stopped smiling since.”

The incident in April and subsequent epilepsy diagnosis has affected Bradley’s confidence, so much so that he’s found it difficult to even go out during playtime, which is why Magpas and the school planned the special visit.

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Bradley, who was whizzed off to RAF Wyton to see the Magpas helicopter, said: “It was awesome, right from when Dr Tom surprised me at school. The day was amazing, but I liked getting into the helicopter and meeting the Magpas pilot too.”

Dr Odbert said it had been great to see Bradley looking so well and smiling all day. “It’s been a pleasure to give him the birthday he didn’t have when we flew to him in April,” he said. “What happened to him that day was a really big deal, and he was clearly in need of some Magpas VIP treatment.”

Bradley’s dad, Charlie, 32, said: “The last six months have knocked him for six, but this has really given him a boost of confidence. As soon as he saw the helicopter, he jumped in and loved every second of it. I’ll never forget the day they flew into the school when he had the seizure and saved the situation – we’re so, so grateful.”