A grateful mother has thanked the health service for its work in saving her son’s life.

Three-year-old Reuben Cowin was rushed to a children’s hospital in the UK after contracting strep, pneumonia, a chest infection and three other winter viruses.

Reuben has had croup, a childhood condition that affects the windpipe, the airways to the lungs and the voice box, since he was born, and had been suffering with a cough for over two weeks.

He was taken to a GP in the island when his family realised it was only getting worse.

On November 21, he was told the cough was ‘viral’ but by December 9 he was taken to A&E.

His mother, Christina, explained everything her family went through.

She said: ‘The problem with a viral infection is that it can then turn into something else. This is exactly what happened.

‘They gave him steroids but they didn’t work and by the Saturday he got so bad he was pulling at his chest, so we got him back to A&E immediately.

‘A&E were fantastic, they looked at him straight away and then he was brought through where he was checked by paediatrics. They immediately knew Reuben needed serious attention.

‘He was checked by so many people and was getting worse and none of the medication he was getting was working.

‘They had to make the decision to ventilate him so his body could rest and this meant he needed to be flown away.

‘The air ambulance tried so hard to find a bed for him and after a lot of phoning around they got him one at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

‘Everything was organised and we were kept informed of everything that was happening.’

Mrs Cowin left the island on the air ambulance with Reuben and a consultant medic to East Midlands Airport.

Upon arrival, they were transported by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where Reuben was cared for.

‘He was put on the ventilator on the Sunday and was taken completely off by the Monday,’ Mrs Cowin said.

‘My husband Martin arrived over to Sheffield on December 12 and by Tuesday, we were told Reuben could be discharged. We travelled home on the Wednesday.

‘When we got back home Reuben still wasn’t good so we took him to MEDS and he was put onto the children’s ward as he still needed oxygen.

‘Reuben was diagnosed with strep, pneumonia, a chest infection and three common winter viruses.

‘He is now home and back to his playful and cheeky self.

‘He’s finished with antibiotics and he won’t need to go across again now.’

Mrs Cowin, who lives in Douglas, was thankful the health service acted so quickly.

She said: ‘I want to give credit to all the teams who basically saved our little boy’s life.

‘Our health services don’t get enough credit but A&E and the air ambulance saved our son’s life and we will be forever grateful for everything they did.

‘The air ambulance service so far through December have completed over 27 transfers, which is just incredible and must be extremely tiring for them too.

‘They made me feel assured and supported me on the journey to hospital in Sheffield. They are truly incredible.

‘The children’s ward were so caring and friendly for our few days stay and made sure we were all looked after so well.

‘Because of our health service, we got to spend Christmas as a family and that’s the best present of all.

‘Also, Sheffield Children’s Hospital are fantastic and we owe a lot to them as well.

‘Myself, Martin, Reuben and our family will be forever grateful to all those involved.’

Mrs Cowin added: ‘So many people complain about the health service and I want something good to go out to say everyone has flaws but what they did for us was absolutely amazing.

‘It’s so scary to see your child not being able to breathe on his own but they were so supportive and they kept us informed at every single stage what was happening.

‘I’ve made gifts for every single person who was involved. I just want something to give back to them just to say you are appreciated.’