October 18, 2022 7.00 pm This story is over 13 months old

Happy reunion: Ambulance heroes meet cardiac arrest survivor they cared for

The Boston mother of two collapsed in front of her children

A woman from Boston has reunited with the ambulance heroes who treated her after a sudden cardiac arrest in front of her children four years ago.

Stacey Feary was at her friend’s house in Sibsey, Boston on November 23, 2018 when she suddenly stopped breathing and became unconscious.

This all unfolded in front of her two children, 14-year-old Paige and six-year-old Charlie, as the kids and Stacey’s friend feared the worst.

Thankfully, her friend Charlotte was training to be a nurse at the time and immediately called 999 to follow the guidance of a call handler and perform life saving CPR on Stacey.

She managed to achieve a return of spontaneous circulation for a short period, before Boston ambulance crew paramedic Andrew Butler, technician Gail Ladds and tactical commander Andrew Pafomow arrived on scene just five minutes after the 999 call.

A defibrillator was used on Stacey before she was blue-lighted to Boston Pilgrim Hospital, where she was placed into an induced coma after doctors evaluated her condition and weren’t hopeful of her chances of survival.

Stacey suddenly collapsed and fell unconscious in her friend’s house, and an ambulance was there five minutes after the 999 call. | Photo: EMAS

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!”

Remarkably, Stacey’s recovery accelerated and she was transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for specialist care – and fitted with an internal defibrillator to shock her if her heart ever stopped again.

After several weeks of recuperation, Stacey was able to make it home in time to spend Christmas with her loved ones.

Four years on from this ordeal, Stacey admits she struggled with coming to terms with what had happened – but visited the East Midlands Ambulance Service workers who cared for her during her darkest hours, to say thank you.

“There was a lot of emotion when I first arrived home from hospital”, she said. “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.”