On Easter Sunday morning in April 2015 Amanda took the family dog for a walk through the local park, alone. Without any unusual symptoms or warning, she collapsed and went into sudden cardiac arrest.
A couple who happened to be in the park at the time saw her and rushed to her aid, performing CPR and calling the emergency services. Another witness used the number on the dog's ID tag to call Amanda's husband Tim and alert him to the incident.
Fortunately an ambulance happened to be nearby which was redirected to the park and the paramedics soon took over the CPR from the passer-by. Within a few minutes they were joined by Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) which was able to land in the park.
After a short while the crew were able to get Amanda breathing again but were concerned about a possible neurological problem so she was moved to the helicopter, and flown to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
From the air ambulance, Amanda was taken into the ICU at John Radcliffe, where she was joined by her husband and two daughters. Here she was placed into an induced coma and continued to receive care for many weeks.
While Amanda was in hospital her family received overwhelming support from friends, neighbours, work colleagues and the wider community. Neighbours arranged a rota for looking after the dog. Amanda’s family were amazed by the number of dog walkers who recognized Amanda’s dog and asked after her. Word had spread and Amanda’s husband and children regularly returned home from the hospital to find a cooked meal on the doorstep waiting for them.
It was pure coincidence that the crochet group Amanda belongs to (The Barkham Hookers) had previously decided to launch a calendar to help raise money for the TVAA. With incredibly timing, Amanda regained consciousness the day the rest of the group were having the calendar photos taken, so it was a very happy occasion.
Amanda was in a coma for two weeks and has made a tremendous recovery; fitted with an ICD device and discharged from the hospital after almost six weeks she was back walking the beloved family dog. Later that year Amanda was able to watch her daughter compete for Great Britain at the European Games in Baku. There is no doubt that things would have been much worse had she not been attended to so quickly by the life-saving Ambulance and Thames Valley Air Ambulance crew.
Amanda said, “Thanks to TVAA I was able to get specialist help on the scene and was transferred quickly to hospital where I received the treatment I urgently needed, I owe them my life.”
18 months on from her cardiac arrest Amanda is doing very well with the help of family and friends. She is now back at work in a new job and is looking forward to new challenges ahead, whilst thankful for the help she received from Thames Valley Air Ambulance.