Rio's story

Eight-year-old Rio Cooper was hit by a car outside his home in Conisbrough, near Doncaster.

Rio was transferred to Sheffield Children's by air ambulance

Eight-year-old Rio Cooper was hit by a car outside his home in Conisbrough, near Doncaster. 

Mum Natalie recalls: “Rio was walking with a friend to the playing fields opposite our house when he was hit by a car. His friend ran back to get me. The air ambulance intercepted the 999 call and arrived within minutes.”

Rio was intubated and ventilated at the scene by the air ambulance doctor. The nearest Major Trauma Centre was Sheffield Children’s which can take up to 45 minutes by road from the scene of the accident. Thanks to the air ambulance, it took just six minutes.

Rio was then met by the Trauma team at Sheffield Children’s which includes staff from the Emergency Department, Paediatric Critical Care Unit and surgical team as well as specialists in anaesthetics and neurosurgery. It also included members from the blood bank and radiology teams as well as porters.

Natalie adds: “There were instantly so many people around Rio, they all knew their roles and sprung into action so quickly, and the doctor from the air ambulance briefed them too.”

“Thankfully, he’s now caught up with school and his teachers are happy with his progress. He still gets very emotional and worries about things he shouldn’t, but we’re both still dealing with the trauma of it all.”

Today, Rio wishes to be an artist- he’s passionate about drawing and arts and crafts, with his latest creation a teddy made from a sock. He also enjoys playing video games and watching films on Netflix.

Natalie adds: “The new Helipad is so important- not just for the vital time it would save, but the privacy and dignity it would bring too." 

How your money helps

£10 could create more places to play in the Emergency Department.

£30 could help expand the waiting room to four times its current size.

£50 could create two dedicated triage areas so our nurses have a space with everything they need.

£75 could help build more treatment, consultancy and examination rooms

Everything we fund is over and above the NHS provision. Our hospital is testament to the dedication of staff, the generosity of our donors and the courage of our children. We’ll never stop striving to make it better.