A mum who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in front of her two children at a friend’s house has finally been reunited with her team of ambulance heroes.
Stacey Feary was just 32 when she stopped breathing and became unconscious at the home of her friend, Charlotte, in Sibsey, Boston on 23 November 2018, all in front of her two children Paige, 14, and Charlie, six.
Charlotte, who was training to be a nurse at the time, realised Stacey wasn’t breathing. She immediately called 999 and followed the guidance of our call handler to perform life-saving CPR to give Stacey the best chance of survival.
Charlotte kept her cool and managed to achieve a Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) for Stacey for a short period.
Boston ambulance crew Paramedic Andrew Butler and Boston Technician Gail Ladds, and Tactical Commander Andrew Pafomow, arrived on scene just five minutes after the 999 call. The pair had to use a defibrillator to shock Stacey before immediately blue-lighting her to Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
Sadly, doctors weren’t hopeful with Stacey’s condition and so she was placed into an induced coma where her family were warned she might not make it through the night.
Stacey, now 36, said: “I can’t really remember much about what happened that day, so with the help of my friends and family, I have pieced it together.
“They never left my side throughout the time I was in intensive care, waiting for me to show signs of life but knowing I might not be the same person I was before.
“When they first tried to wake me, I wasn’t responding. However, the day later I did and when I woke, my first instinct was to get out of bed not realising what had happened.
“My first real memory of that time is waking up and my friends feeding me jelly!”
Doctors were impressed by Stacey’s recovery given how ill she had been on her arrival at the hospital. Following a short stay at Boston Pilgrim Hospital, Stacey was transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester where under the care of specialists, she was fitted with an internal defibrillator designed to shock her if her heart stopped again.
After several weeks under hospital care, Stacey made it home just in time to spend Christmas 2018 with her loved ones.
Four years on, Stacey is doing well but admits that at first it was hard to come to terms with what had happened.
She said: “There was a lot of emotion when I first arrived home from hospital. I was angry at the world and asking why it had to happen to me and why my family and friends had to go through that. The doctors couldn’t find any underlying conditions to explain it which made it even harder to understand.
“At first, I was scared to do anything in case it happened again. I know my internal defibrillator is there to help me but it doesn’t stop the worry; it is really hard to plan for the future as you never know what will happen. However, I live for today and see what comes.
“Without Charlotte, I wouldn’t be here. If she didn’t do CPR, if the people involved weren’t there that night, it could have ended very differently. I’m forever grateful to them, from the bottom of my heart.”
Would you know how to save someone's life if they suffered a cardiac arrest?
Visit the EMAS YouTube channel where you can learn the skill of CPR and potentially save someone’s life one day.
Test your skills with the Resuscitation Council via their lifesaver website.