It was the middle of the night when the Starship National Air Ambulance was sent to Hastings for seven-year-old Matilda. She had no time to lose.
Nothing could have prepared Fiona for the moment a doctor at their local hospital sat her down and delivered the shattering news: her precious daughter has leukaemia.
"I was so shocked, I felt drained of any feeling. But it really hit me how serious things were when I was told the Starship National Air Ambulance was on its way, in the middle of the night, to pick Matilda uup. I suddenly realised she had no time to lose."
The Starship National Air Ambulance is an intensive care unit in the sky. It's fully equipped with everything a seriously ill or injured child needs to be kept comfortable and stable on their way to Starship.
Fiona says she was amazed at how professional and seamless the entire flight was.
"Watching Tilda being loaded onto the Air Ambulance was amazing. It was effortless despite all the equipment that she was attached to.
The flight was so surreal, like I was in a terrible nightmare. But I felt comforted by the medical team and all the gear they had to treat and monitor her."
When Matilda reached Starship she was immediately put on dialysis to relieve the strain on her kidneys. Two days later she started chemotherapy.
Fiona says she knows how close she came to losing her little girl that night.
I've never asked exactly what might have happened, because I can't bear the though. But I have no doubt that if the Air Ambulance hadn't gotten there in time, Matilda would have passed away that night. I'm so grateful to Starship and everyone who donates to keep the Air Ambulance in the air.
To respond without delay, day or night, the Starship National Air Ambulance needs $1.5M in funding each year. Which is why your support is so important.
Here is a very special clip of Matilda's life-saving flight with the Starship National Air Ambulance...