In November last year, Caroline Halliday was on an evening dog walk with her husband Paul when she suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing.
Luckily a passing car saw it happen and the family inside rushed over to the couple to see if they could help. The driver Mandy Hoyle immediately called 999, while her brave daughter Evangeline started to give Caroline bystander CPR.
After completing a first aid course just weeks before, Evangeline commenced chest compressions with the guidance of the 999 call handler. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene, arriving within seven minutes.
Paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service used a defibrillator to restart Caroline’s heart, while Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked to the incident.
The helicopter landed nearby at Pool Academy, where Critical Care Paramedic Stuart Croft commenced post-resuscitation care, which included sedating Caroline to ensure she had the best possible chance of recovering from the trauma of a cardiac arrest. She was transferred to Royal Cornwall Hospital for further treatment.
Stuart Croft, Critical Care Paramedic, said: “For Caroline, everything fell in to place for the chain of survival; immediate bystander CPR, defibrillation and early access to post-resuscitation care, which is where the air ambulance comes in. To meet a patient again who has gone through what she did and is now so well, is incredible. It doesn’t happen very often. These jobs stick with you for life- it’s why you trained.”
Caroline was recently reunited with all the people who helped to save her life as part of Restart a Heart Day, a national campaign which encourages more people to learn CPR.
Caroline said: “Without all these people, I wouldn’t have survived. I’m so grateful to everyone. Please do learn CPR and don’t leave it to others. You never know when you might need to do it on someone.”