Great grandmother meets paramedics who saved her life
A GREAT grandmother who nearly died after suffering a huge cardiac arrest had only one wish for her 80th birthday — to meet the three paramedics who saved her life.
And on Wednesday, Joan Pilkington’s wish came true when she was reunited with the ambulance crew who got her heart beating again — Simon Alger, Ben Martin and Tony Berry.
Mrs Pilkington, from Great Lever, had complained of chest pains on October 6 last year yet went to bed as usual. It was not until she woke-up in the middle of the night unable to catch her breath that husband Frank realised something was seriously wrong and phoned for an ambulance.
When crews arrived, Mrs Pilkington stopped breathing and she went into cardiac arrest.
All three paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) immediately started to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in bid to get Joan’s heart beating again.
It took them 28 minutes of CPR and the use of defibrillator to save her life.
Joan’s daughter Lesley Carter, who was also there that night, said the family feared the worst.
Mrs Carter said: “It was very distressing for us to see, we really did fear the worst. When she went into cardiac arrest they had to quickly get mum off the bed and on to the floor to work on her. Mum doesn’t remember any of it but we were all quite traumatised for months. Mum lives for her family and always has, which was why it was terrible to see.”
Mrs Pilkington, who has three children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren, said: “It’s all a blackout for me, I just remember coming round at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. When you go through something like that, it makes you think differently about life. When my daughters asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I just wanted to meet the men who saved my life. I’m just so grateful to them and wanted to thank them.
“I don’t think paramedics get enough credit for the service they do. It’s an amazing thing to be able to keep someone alive. It’s been lovely to meet them today.”
Paramedic Simon Alger said Joan was lucky to have survived the ordeal.
He added: “It has been nice for us to see Joan looking so well.
“We don’t often get to find out how our patients get on once they’re in hospital.
“It’s very serious when someone’s heart stops beating like that, she was very lucky. But we were just doing what we’re trained to do.”
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