TEMPLETON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Templeton boy was airlifted from a Carnival cruise ship after suffering a life-threatening illness hundreds of miles off the coast of North Carolina Saturday.

The Bridges were on a cruise ship heading from the Caribbean to New York, about 350 miles away from land, when 12-year-old Aiden got sick.

“Anxiety and scared, like the most scared I’ve ever been in my life,” said Angela Bridges, Aiden’s mother. “Wow, this is like the second worst thing that could’ve possibly happened, and it’s happening to my son right now.”

The United States Air Force flew a military helicopter to the ship and hoisted Aiden and Angela up inside, before flying them to a hospital in North Carolina. The helicopter was in the air for so long that the crew needed to refuel three times while still flying.

The Air Force said the rescue mission was a stunning success.

“To be able to help this family out and help this boy reach medical care feels good. The whole team feels good about it,” said Lt. Col. Dave Underwood, the mission’s commander.

From the ship, other passengers were clapping and cheering as Aiden was pulled skyward and flown to safety.

“I was just totally shocked and amazed how everything pulled together, and it was just astounding,” cruise passenger Marla White said.

Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement that the ship’s team worked with US Coast Guard and Air Force officials to adjust its course Saturday so a medical helicopter could help the ill guest.

Angela said she’s glad her son Aiden is recovering back on dry land.

“I feel really grateful and thankful for this situation turning out the way that it did, because of every person’s involvement,” she said by phone from her son’s hospital room.

A GoFundMe page for Aiden’s recovery was created by his mother.

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