Prince William made an extra effort to cheer up one young patient who he flew in to rescue in his air ambulance. The Duke of Cambridge created a balloon animal out of a blue surgical glove, which he passed out of the cockpit to patient Luke Sawyer.
The three-year-old from Little Dunmow in Essex had suffered an anaphylactic shock triggered by eating a snack containing peanuts, and was picked up by Prince William and his colleagues for treatment.
Prince William made Luke Sawyer a balloon animal from a surgical glove
After the youngster was treated for the potentially fatal reaction, which was triggered by an allergy to nuts, he was handed the fun souvenir by the Prince – a balloon creature complete with a smiley face and big eyes drawn on a black marker.
The gesture meant a lot to both Luke and his mum Donna, 49, who has said that her son refuses to let go of the balloon glove.
"We thought it was a really touching thing for Prince William to do as it really took his mind off everything that was going on," she said. "He wouldn't let go of the balloon glove, even taking it to bed with him."
William works an average 80 hours a month for the East Anglian Air Ambulance
Prince William works 80 hours per month – or 20 hours per week – as a pilot. He takes part in a four days on, four days off rotation, which averages 8.5 hours per shift. These shifts allow him to fulfil his royal and parental duties, however he has recently come under scrutiny for what some have regarded as his reluctance to take on more official duties.
A palace source responded to the scrutiny by telling HELLO!: "Over the course of the year, the monthly average would be 80 hours on shift. His royal and charitable duties are on top of that.
"There are engagements and tours and meeting and all sorts, and his team works with the Air Ambulance Service to fit it into his diary. This is no different to what he's been doing since he started flying. It's ultimately a very skilled and rewarding job - he's flying doctors around to help save people's lives."