A Peacehaven woman who suffered a cardiac arrest in front of the ambulance crew treating her at her home, has been reunited with her life-saving team.
Pat Jameson, 70, had contacted NHS 111 on New Year’s Eve for medical advice for arm pain she attributed to her long-term arthritis. However, when she became nauseous while on the phone to 111 Health Advisor Jill Mills, husband Roy took over the conversation and Jill quickly established the need for an immediate ambulance response.
Paramedic Luke Wheeler and Student Paramedic Michelle Goddard were first on scene and had already performed an ECG to check Pat’s heart. Just as their colleagues Advanced Ambulance Technician Steve Pope and Emergency Care Support Worker Adam Doughty arrived, Pat suddenly went into cardiac arrest and her heart required a shock with a defibrillator to bring it back into a normal rhythm. With their defibrillator immediately to hand from the initial check, they administered a shock and the team set about resuscitating Pat.
After being stabilised, Pat was rushed to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where further expert treatment was required when she needed six more shocks from a defibrillator before being fitted with a stent. Within just three and a half hours after suffering the original cardiac arrest Pat was recovering on a ward and was able to return home just five days later.
Although nursing some very sore broken ribs from the chest compressions she received, she has made an amazing recovery and recently met with the ambulance team when they were reunited at Newhaven Ambulance Station.
Pat, who will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary to Roy next year said: “My family and I are just so grateful for everything everyone did. Everyone worked so hard to help me and my time isn’t up because of them. The doctors in the hospital were amazing too. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been lovely to meet the ambulance team again in better circumstances.”
Roy added: “We’re so thankful. If Pat had had chest pain and tightness too we wouldn’t have hesitated to call 999 but it’s obviously vital that the 111 service can also spot a potentially life-threatening situation too. I’d urge anyone who has any of the symptoms of a heart attack to act immediately and seek help.”
Paramedic and Clinical Team Leader Luke said: “It’s great to see Pat looking so well and we’re obviously delighted she’s made such a good recovery and has been able to meet with us. Everyone involved from Jill in the 111 service, our teamwork at the scene and the great treatment she received at the hospital was instrumental in the outcome. Michelle did particularly well. As a second year student she had volunteered for some additional shifts over the festive period. It was the first witnessed cardiac arrest she had been involved in and she was also excellent in helping to reassure Roy who was obviously witnessing everything.”
Pat is sure her outlook on life has changed since her cardiac arrest and added: “It does change your outlook. It’s made me realise I shouldn’t take anything for granted and the simple things hit home such as looking out into our garden at the birds and thinking ‘I might not have been here to see this.’”