Two years ago grandmother Carol Brothers was not expected to live after suffering a heart attack but this week she presented a cheque to Wiltshire Air Ambulance as a thank you for the part it played in saving her life.
Mrs Brothers, 65, from Easterton, collapsed on the pavement outside her home in February, 2013, and her heart stopped beating for 45 minutes. Doctors at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, thought there was no hope for Mrs Brothers and her family agreed for medication to be withdrawn so she could die peacefully. But to the astonishment of medical staff she rallied and a few weeks later she was discharged from hospital.
On Monday she visited the air ambulance headquarters in Devizes to present a cheque for £836 which she raised by doing the White Horse Challenge with friend Mary Hanagan.
She said: “Everyone says it is a miracle I am alive but if it hadn’t been for the air ambulance and its staff I don’t think I would be here now. They do a wonderful job and I wanted to raise money to help.”
She was reunited with air ambulance paramedic Matt Baskerville who she said refused to give up on her when he was critically ill.
Mrs Brothers and Mrs Hanagan completed the seven mile route of the White Horse Challenge last month and they still walk together for about three miles each day.
Mrs Brothers said: “I did find some of the stages quite tiring so this might be my first and last time of taking part.”
She was was returning to her home in Oak Lane with her daughter, Maxine Dickinson, after a shopping trip when she collapsed.
Mrs Dickinson rang 999 and following instructions from the ambulance telephone operator began CPR on her mother until neighbours, Brian and Doris Murray and Sue Amann, came to assist.
A community first responder arrived shortly afterwards and did CPR and used a defibrillator on Mrs Brothers. When Wiltshire Air Ambulance arrived its crew took over and Mr Mr Baskerville intubated Mrs Brothers and used a defibrillator on her.
Mrs Brothers, a retired poultry worker has been married to Dave for 48 years, and has three children and eight grandchildren.
Mr Baskerville said “Carol’s recovery is amazing. At the time we didn’t think her chances were very good, 45 minutes is a long time without a heartbeat.
“It proves what an asset the Wiltshire Air Ambulance is, without people raising the money for it we wouldn’t be able to help patients like Carol.”
Story from Gazette and Herald.