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Parents of young woman who collapsed in New Look thank strangers who saved her life

06:00 14 March 2016

Renée Bailey and her mother Rosemary. Pic: Peter Bailey.

Renée Bailey and her mother Rosemary. Pic: Peter Bailey.

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To the three strangers who saved our precious daughter’s life – thank you.

Rosemary Bailey and husband Peter Bailey. Pic: Peter Bailey.Rosemary Bailey and husband Peter Bailey. Pic: Peter Bailey.

That is the emotional message paid today from the parents of Ipswich 30-year-old Renée Bailey who collapsed in the Buttermarket on Friday afternoon after suffering a serious heart issue.

Paramedics used a defibrillator to bring her back to life in the middle of clothing store New Look.

But it was the crucial work of three people – two shoppers and a staff member, thought to be the shop manager – who jumped into action and applied CPR moments after she fell ill.

One of them has come forward to the Star, anonymously, and said they went into “overdrive” to save Renée, who has a history of heart problems.

She was rushed to Ipswich Hospital and made a full recovery over the weekend, her retired father, Peter, said. She is expected to come home today.

The father-of-three said: “Someone told me that they zapped her (with a defibrillator) at least three times to get the heart to beat correctly, so the CPR was certainly very beneficial, and maybe saved her life.

“The first paramedic who turned up, who has since been in to see how she is, said her heart was beating like crazy, and too fast (for it to have been a heart attack).

“That was the issue. It knocked her on the floor. That would have killed her, and the paramedic said that the CPR was well worth doing. It helped regulate the heartbeat before the paramedics arrived.

“It was definitely a very serious arrhythmia issue she had. So naturally, we would like to shake the hand of the person or persons that helped Renée through that.”

Renée, an artist and budding photographer, who also works part-time, was born in South America with a hole in her heart.

She was adopted in Quito, Ecuador, while Mr Bailey and his wife, Rosemary, were living in South America due to his work in the construction and oil industry.

“She was very ill and needed an operation, and the easiest way of getting the operation was to actually adopt her so she could get out of the country,” Mr Bailey said.

“My wife is good friends with the first secretary of the British Embassy and was working as a charity helper in the orphanage. A couple of weeks later, she came home with the baby, who was going to be pushed into a room and left to die.

“They estimated two weeks (for her to live) when we took her over (to Canada) for open-heart surgery, and she has just had her 30th birthday.”

Mr Bailey, 70, explained how an anonymous piece of paper, with the words ‘ring the police urgently’, was pushed through their front door while they were out on Friday.

“The police then rang the house and spoke to my wife upstairs,” he said.

“We jumped in the car, with her two friends she was supposed to meet, and came up.

“It was a bit of a shock. My wife was in tears thinking the worst. She stayed all night bedside, and by the morning we could tell that things were turning around quite substantially.

“She is fully recovered and the heart is back to its normal, regular pattern. It is probably better than before.”

He added: “I have seen a couple of stupid comments (online) saying there were far too many resources (at the scene). But my answer to that is, you wait until it’s your kid. I have nothing but praise for the NHS, from the entire family.”

The anonymous rescuer, trained in first-aid, said: “My daughter and I were stood at the till when we heard she collapsed. We went into overdrive to save her. I gave her CPR, as did a staff member, while my daughter cradled her head.

“We were left shaking afterwards. I’m just glad she is okay.”

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