A NEW-born baby's life was saved when he was rushed to a Glasgow hospital in a special "super ambulance" and attached to one of the most ­sophisticated ventilators in Europe.

The tiny tot is among hundreds to have been transported between hospitals across the country since the vehicle was donated six months ago by charity chiefs at St John Scotland.

The infant has not been identified but was born five weeks prematurely with a life threatening abnormality which resulted in ­severe breathing problems.

Medics realised his only chance of survival was to transfer him to the Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Kids 50 miles away in Glasgow.

The "super ambulance" fitted with the new Fabian ventilator was sent for. The child who was in an unstable condition was the first to be attached to the ventilator.

He was brought to Glasgow and his life was saved following emergency surgery.

The gift of life from St John Scotland cost £212,000 - £106,000 for the ambulance and the rest for the ventilator.

The ambulance is based at the West of Scotland Neonatal Transport Service at Yorkhill Hospital.

Director Dr Lesley Jackson praised charity chiefs when she said: "The donation of this vehicle by St John Scotland has allowed us to move the most critically unwell babies for life-saving treatment and surgery, something we would never have been able to do in the past."

Half the cash for the neonatal ambulance came from St John Scotland's Glasgow branch, thanks to a bequest from late members Walter and Doreen Crichton, and the vehicle carries the Crichton name to mark their generosity. The rest of the cost was provided from the organisation's central funds.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk