Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Ulverston heart stop victim’s praise for lifesavers

A WOMAN whose heart stopped beating for 15 minutes has praised the quick thinking of the people who saved her life.

CARDIAC ARREST: Bridget Brice, 71, at her home in Ulverston HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50042960B000

A miraculous set of circumstances meant Bridget Brice, from Ulverston, was able to make a good recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest in November.

Mrs Brice, who is now back home with husband John at their Soutergate home, said she is lucky to be alive after collapsing at Lancaster train station.

She compared her situation to that of footballer Fabrice Muamba, who stunned the world after recovering from a cardiac arrest in the middle of a football match.

Fortunately for Mrs Brice, a first aider who had been trained in Walney just weeks before was on the scene and began CPR. Staff at the station then began to use the on-site defibrillator to get her heart beating again.

Mrs Brice said: “If I had been on the train I would not be here today.”

The train was not equipped with a defibrillator and, had she not had access to the one at the station, doctors say Mrs Brice would have died.

The 71-year-old added: “The fact that it happened as I was getting on the train, the fact the train had been delayed and there was someone there that saw me collapse saved my life.”

Now Mrs Brice hopes to encourage more people to learn basic first aid and get defibrillators installed on trains and at places of work across the country. She said she owes her life to people whose job does not routinely involve administering first aid, but who were trained by the North West Ambulance Service.

It was 15 minutes before Mrs Brice’s heart regained a regular rhythm but she has no memory of the event — or the 12 hours before.

She did not learn of what had happened until two or three days later when she was out of intensive care.

She had been on her way to London to watch a tennis match when the incident occurred.

Quick use of CPR and defibrillation improves the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest by 10 per cent each minute and NWAS has praised the seven individuals involved in saving Mrs Brice’s life.

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