Family bring mother back from the brink

A MOTHER-of-two has spoken of the moment she 'died' after suffering a severe asthma attack– only to be brought back to life by her husband.Sandy May stopped breathing for around five minutes following the attack, which led to a cardiac arrest, but was saved by the heroics of husband Colin, daughter Lyndsey and the ambulance service.

A MOTHER-of-two has spoken of the moment she 'died' after suffering a severe asthma attack– only to be brought back to life by her husband.

Sandy May stopped breathing for around five minutes following the attack, which led to a cardiac arrest, but was saved by the heroics of husband Colin, daughter Lyndsey and the ambulance service.

The family have now told of the terrifying sequence of events which almost claimed the life of 51-year-old Mrs May.

"In hospital they were all telling me that my husband saved my life," she said. "I would not have been here now without him.


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"We've been married for almost 32 years – and this is going to cost me," she joked.

Lyndsey, 23, said the drama unfolded at around 3.30am on the morning of June 4, as the family were all in bed at their home in Ipswich.

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"I heard mum calling for help from the bathroom, saying she couldn't breathe," she said. "I went straight to her while dad called the ambulance.

"I helped her onto the floor. She was really struggling to breathe in gagging movements – then all of a sudden she just stopped and went rigid.

"She was starting to foam at the mouth as well. Dad had the phone and he was being given instructions about what to do.

"He started mouth to mouth and chest compressions, with the ambulance service giving him information down the phone.

"She went a bluey-type of purple. Both of us thought that she wasn't going to make it – she was gone.

"It seemed like the longest five or ten minutes of my life before the ambulance crews arrived and went straight to work."

Mr May, 53, added: "She was lying on the floor with her tongue sticking out of her mouth and she wasn't breathing at all – I felt so helpless and I was frantic.

"The ambulance man told me to tilt her head back, blow into her mouth and do chest compressions.

"It was frightening. I've never done anything like that before in my life."

After being rushed to hospital – where she suffered another smaller asthma attack the next day – Mrs May spent a week recovering from her ordeal in the intensive care ward, with son Ian and the rest of her family at her bedside.

She returned home on June 14, where she is slowly recovering from extensive bruising, muscle spasms and a cracked rib suffered during resuscitation.

Mrs May, who works at Ipswich Crown Court, will not be allowed to return to work for at least a month.

"I can't really remember anything," she said. "The last thing I can remember is falling asleep on the sofa and then the next memory I have is of being in hospital on Monday.

"It's scary to think that I died. It must have been horrendous for Colin and Lyndsey but I'm obviously very grateful to them.

"Now I just feel like I've been run over by a lorry.

"I can't praise these two or the doctors and nurses enough. I feel very lucky – the whole thing is like a dream to me."

Lyndsey added: "It was really scary. I think instinct took over for dad, but we were both so worried about what was happening.

"If dad hadn't done what he did then I don't think mum would have survived it. I was trying to support him – but to be honest I couldn't really watch."

Have you ever been saved by a member of your own family? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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