Family of child who stopped breathing at Centre Parcs campaign for hospital helipad

Ellena Kik, from Dore, Sheffield was only a few months old when she stopped breathing on a family holiday at Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest.

Ellena Kik at four months old
Ellena Kik at four months old

The air ambulance was delayed when transferring Ellena to Sheffield Children's Hospital, as there was no helipad to land on.

Dad Matt Kik, aged 40 said: “She began coughing, choking and spluttering.

"I thought I knew what to do, so I took her onto the dining table and tried to restart her breathing again, but she didn’t.

Ellena Kik at four months old

"She just turned blue and had a really distant look in her eyes.

“I watched the life go out of her eyes and the rest of the family was around me looking on.

"I just thought, oh God she’s gone."

Ellena has Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (TOF) and Oesphageal Atresia (OA), which are rare congenital conditions of the oesophagus (food pipe) and trachea (airway) that affects one in 5,000 children.

L-R Ellena Kik, Genna Kik, Evie Kik and Matt Kik

Her parents had been trained in resuscitation, as Ellena required intensive neo-natal care prior to surgery to correct the condition at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which was performed within three days of her birth.

A rescue breath from her Dad finally brought Ellena back to life and paramedics arrived soon after.

Ellena was transferred by air ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

While four-month old Ellena travelled with her Mum Genna Kik in the helicopter, Matt drove through rush hour traffic to Sheffield.

Ellena Kik now

Due to delays, the air ambulance arrived just ten minutes earlier.

Genna, 37, said “They just hovered over Weston Park and had to wait for anyone below to move a safe distance away.

"It was a really sunny day and the park was packed.

"I’ve no idea how long it was, but it felt like forever”.

Ellena was too small for the stretcher typically used to transport patients, so Genna had to carry the four-month-old in her arms.

They then had to wait for the green man to appear and the traffic light to change, so they could run across the busy A57 into the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The Children’s Hospital Charity have launched a £6m appeal to build a brand new Helipad for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, reducing the delays for patients who need critical care as soon as possible.

Currently, air ambulances can’t land in the park in the dark, which limits their operation in winter.

The new helipad would ensure helicopters can land anytime, and electric trace heating incorporated into the deck would ensure ice and snow do not disrupt its use during periods of inclement weather.

Thankfully, due to her parents’ intervention and the care she received, Ellena is now back to her usual self.

Matt said: "Very quickly she was in a fantastic mood again. She was white as a sheet, but happy and laughing like her normal self”.

To find out how you can support the appeal for a new Helipad and build a better future at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, visit