A much happier helicopter ride

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Singing comes second nature to Brantson Smith; his life is an on-going upbeat song. However, on August 9, 2009, his lyrics took a drastic turn. A fire at his home nearly took his life.

“I remember waking up, smelling smoke, getting on the floor,” says Brantson.

For his mother, Misty Smith, the drive from his neighborhood near Anniston to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham was the most horrifying hour of panic she’d ever experienced.

“No one wants to watch their child go through that. I wouldn’t want anyone to. It’s rough, you have to sit there, there’s nothing you can do to take the pain away,” says Smith.

The ride wasn’t so long for Brantson, however; he was flown in via the Children’s Care Flight. It’s the very reason so many children across Alabama survive near death situations, explains flight nurse Jason Peterson.

“At a moment’s notice, we’re ready to go anytime and we do have to be on our toes clinically and professionally.”

The next couple of months would be a challenge for the young boy. He suffered from third degree deep burns to his hands, face, neck, and both shoulders, crippling him from the joys of being a young lad, like riding his bike.

After undergoing 12 surgeries, four years later Brantson is ready to celebrate another birthday and revisit the critical care flight helicopter.

We were invited along for the ride as Branston took flight in the very chopper that helped save his life.

He was a little nervous at first, but the adventure in his heart quickly eased his mind.

The flight team wanted to give him a birthday ride around the city of Birmingham– one that he’d never forget.

It was a special experience indeed. One of the happiest moments of the day was reuniting with the nurse who flew him to safety, four years ago.

With a bigger personality than ever before, Brantson is a larger than life eight year old kid.

He’s anxiously awaiting the day he becomes a professional race car driver, and, of course, a chart-topping singer.

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