A dying Scots child is due to arrive home in Scotland on Wednesday after she was stranded in Mexico.
STV revealed on Tuesday that cancer-stricken Olivia Downie had been given the all-clear to fly and was due to leave Tijuana within 24 hours.
Air Ambulance Worldwide has confirmed the youngster is on her way home onboard a specialist Lear jet and will land at Aberdeen Airport later.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “We have a critical care nurse and speciality respiratory therapist who are both paediatric specialists and in our lead team.
“One of the biggest things is that we are able to take both parents because that was something that was really important to the family.”
STV News understands that Olivia will land in Aberdeen at 1.45pm and be met by an ambulance. It is unclear if she will be taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or Fraserburgh Hospital.
Olivia, from Fraserburgh, was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma three years ago — an aggressive form of childhood cancer that attacks the nervous system and can affect the lungs, skin and brain.
The seven-year-old's family raised thousands of pounds in order to fly out to Mexico for "last ditch" treatment in an effort to save the youngster. That treatment has now failed and her family wish to get Olivia back home before she dies.
Last week, stranded on the other side of the Atlantic, the family made an emotional appeal for donations to help fly their daughter home and more than £150,000 has since been received by Families Against Neuroblastoma (FAN), the charity which organised the trip.
Kevin Downie, Olivia’s uncle, said that the whole family was praying that Olivia would make it home soon.
He said: “She is still in a coma and remains on life support. I’m hearing from them everyday, so praying that she pulls through to get home.”
All hospital bills, totalling £60,000, have been paid and the youngster is now free to leave the facility, which was accused of refusing to clear her to fly until payment was received.
The 5100 miles journey home onboard a specially equipped plane at a cost of £85,000 is expected to take between 14 and 16 hours.
According to FAN, Olivia’s mother Lauren has asked people to stop donating to her daughter’s fund and instead support the other children the charity supports.
A spokeswoman for FAN said: “We are a charity and now that Lauren has said she doesn’t want any more funds going into Olivia’s fund we’re free to ask for donations. There are other children and Lauren and Stephen would rather attention was focused on them now and the charity.
“In terms of awareness, Olivia’s case has done us a world of good and we’re hoping it will highlight other children who will now benefit as a result.
“The generosity of the Scottish public has been overwhelming and I for one hope I can count on everyone to support our charity and put an end to this situation that these children face forever.”
Fraserburgh and District councillor Brian Topping said he was delighted to hear Olivia would be returning home and that her story had “touched the hearts and minds of everyone in Scotland”.
“I’m absolutely delighted to hear this. I’m thrilled — over the moon. I think everyone in and around Fraserburgh and Scotland will be so pleased with the fact that she is getting home. It is so vitally important for Olivia and the whole family,” Mr Topping said.
“I know the parents will still be praying for a miracle but a lot of people are praying for her. It must be such a massive and huge relief for Olivia, her mum and dad and her sister that she’ll have enough strength to fly home. It’ll be a huge sigh of relief.
“I think she’s touched the hearts and minds of everyone in Scotland. I’m always proud to say I come from Fraserburgh and in difficult times like this it proves how the community comes together, not just Fraserburgh but the area around. It’s unbelievable in the short time to raise that amount. It must bring a great deal of comfort to Olivia’s mum and dad.”
To support the charity which helped Olivia and her family go to its JustGiving page..
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