Wigan mum, 46, thanks family and paramedics for saving her life
A mother-of-three recovering from a heart attack has praised her family and a team of paramedics for saving her life.
Lisa Fildes, 46, collapsed after suffering from chest pains at her home in Aspull in June.
Her quick-thinking husband Craig started CPR and her three sons went outside to look out for paramedics. The ambulance arrived in just a couple of minutes and Lisa was rushed to hospital for treatment.
This week, they visited Wigan Community Fire And Ambulance Station to thank the paramedics who treated her.
Lisa said: “I said a big thank you for helping to save my life.”
The 46-year-old spent five weeks in hospital, but she is now recovering at home with her husband and three sons.
And they paid a visit to Wigan Community Fire And Ambulance Station to thank the paramedics who treated her in her time of need.
Lisa, who lives in Aspull, said: “I wanted to say thank you. There were a couple of them that just as they arrived they were stood down.
“They still came in and saw the boys and were talking to them and reassuring them that everything was going to be okay and telling them exactly what was happening.
“Apart from doing the CPR on me and taking care of me, they were also there for Craig and the boys.”
Lisa, who works as a customer assistant at Tesco Express in Whelley, remembers very little of the incident.
She was at home with her sons - Connor, 10, Thom, seven, and Ethan, five - on the morning of Saturday, June 9, when she had chest pains.
Lisa phoned NHS 111 but there was no answer, so she asked Connor to call her husband, who was at work.
She said: “Twenty minutes later he came home and phoned 111.
“Then they said they would get an ambulance out and if I got any worse he was to phone 999.
“As soon as he hung up, I had an arrest. He did CPR. My oldest son took my other two children outside to wait for the ambulance.”
Fortunately an ambulance was driving through Aspull, so it arrived at the family’s home in a couple of minutes.
The children told paramedics where to go and they found Craig, who works as an engineer, carrying out CPR.
Lisa was taken by ambulance to Wigan Infirmary, where an MRI scan confirmed she did not have a bleed on the brain, and she was transferred to Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment.
But Lisa still had a long road ahead of her.
She said: “I had a heart attack initially and then I arrested. I think I arrested a few times.
“Once I had got to Manchester they put a couple of stents in and after that it turned from bad to worse.
“My kidneys and my lungs gave up. I had pneumonia. I contracted sepsis. It didn’t look good at all for quite a few weeks.”
Doctors tried really strong antibiotics and luckily they made a difference.
Lisa was discharged from hospital on Sunday, August 12 and is now recovering at home with her family.
She said: “I’m a lot better now. I can get around, I can walk around, still a bit slowly, and I’m still quite tired.
“But I’m back at home with my boys and ready to get back to normal.”
Doctors do not know why Lisa fell ill, but believe it could be linked to her having type one diabetes.
Now she is recovering, she wanted to thank the paramedics for the quick response and treatment they provided.
The whole family visited Wigan Community Fire And Ambulance Station to meet the crew.
Lisa said: “We had a bit of a chat with the boss of the station and read through some of the reports that the paramedics had told him about what happened on the day.
“Then we went outside and the boys were shown the ambulance, let inside the ambulance and they set the alarm off.”
She continued: “I said a big thank you for helping to save my life.
“Obviously my husband did it to start with, he kept me going, but if it wasn’t for them keeping me going, my boys wouldn’t have a mum.”
Lisa praised her family for the help they provided.
Craig, 42, had never performed CPR before, but she believes his “instincts just kicked in”.
She also paid tribute to her sons, particularly Connor.
She said: “I’m really proud, especially of my eldest. I arrested on him - he was siting next to me when I first arrested.”
The children went to live with Lisa’s sister in the south of England while she was in hospital.
Lisa said: “They have not only had to cope with mummy not being around, they have been in a different place and it was really upsetting for them. They don’t seem to be too bad now.
“We still talk about it all the time, about what happened and what could happen again.
“We learned about ringing 999 and things like that. The paramedics gave them all a goodie bag and it had a booklet to say what to do when you ring 999 and what you don’t.”
Lisa had already taught Connor what to do in an emergency and she urged other families to do the same.
“Luckily it was something that he always knew what to do, because I’m diabetic, but when you have to do it for real it’s a bit different,” she said.
Phil Howcroft, sector manager for the ambulance service, said; “Meeting Lisa and her family was a real honour for all the staff that were involved in her care. We don’t always get to know the long-term outcome of the patients we help, and knowing how seriously ill Lisa was, it was really heart-warming for us all to see how well she is doing now.
“It’s also important to recognise Craig, Lisa’s husband, who was performing CPR on Lisa when the crews arrived at their home.
“He did such a fantastic job of keeping Lisa alive and this played a huge part in her survival. This highlights the importance of everyone knowing how to perform effective CPR.”