Gallery: Ipswich mum grateful to ‘hero’ paramedics who saved her life after her heart stopped five times

Samantha and Adrian Turner meet the team from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service that saved Samantha's

Samantha and Adrian Turner meet the team from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service that saved Samantha's life, (L to R) Dr Neil Berry, Paramedic James Mullet, Stuart Evans of St John Ambulance Service, Critical Care Paramedic Jemma Varela and Dr Justin Brown.

An Ipswich mum-of-two had an emotional reunion with the “hero” volunteer paramedics who saved her life – after her heart stopped five times.

Samantha Turner, 45, of Kestrel Road, collapsed at home after suffering a cardiac arrest following a day out shopping in Bury St Edmunds.

Her husband Adrian called for paramedics and administered first-aid before they arrived.

A clot in an artery supplying her heart needed to be removed but the nearest specialist cardiac centre was more than 50 miles away in Basildon.

On the way, her heart stopped another four times.

But a specialist critical care team of volunteers from emergency medical charity Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) restarted her heart each time in the ambulance.

And now she is hoping to make a full recovery after receiving hospital treatment.

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“I am in no doubt that the emergency services’ quick response and the critical care from the specialist volunteer SARS team saved my life,” she said.

“I can’t believe that these dedicated people are willing to give up so much of their time for free to help others and save lives. Thanks to these heroes I can now look forward to the rest of mine.”

The former Chantry High School (now Suffolk New Academy) pupil described the reunion with the paramedics at Ipswich Hospital yesterday as “very emotional”, adding: “It was very nice to finally meet them again. I’m so grateful.”

SARS critical care paramedic Jemma Varela said: “Mrs Turner was very lucky. We had decided to start our shift earlier than normal and we received the call almost immediately after we had logged on.”

The incident on May 1 even coincided with the 43rd birthday of SARS.

Dr Neil Berry, a consultant anaesthetist for SARS, said: “We had to make several advanced pre-hospital interventions during the journey to ensure that Samantha remained stable.

“Basildon’s response was amazing and she received top quality treatment there and fantastic care at Ipswich Hospital.

“However, the main praise should go to her husband Adie for his quick-thinking in delivering CPR which meant that all the different services could come together to ensure Samantha can continue to live a happy life with her family.”

Mr Turner, 46, said: “It seemed like fate. I had only just refreshed my first aid at a course at work. I remember putting at the bottom of the form where they ask for feedback that I would try to give it a go.”

Mrs Turner, a learning support assistant at The Oaks Primary School in Ipswich, is mother to Steven, 23, and George, 18.

East of England Ambulance Service paramedics Colin Treece, Bridget Read and James Mullett, along with Stuart Evans and Joshua Anstey from the St John Ambulance, also helped save her life.

The Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) is an emergency medical charity established in 1972. SARS provides specially trained doctors and critical care paramedics to assist the East of England Ambulance Service at the scenes of serious incidents – both accidents and medical illnesses. All the work undertaken by SARS doctors and paramedics is provided voluntarily without any cost to the patient, ambulance service or taxpayer.

All their activity is funded by voluntary donations and they receive no government funding.

People can make donations via the website or through their new 999 appeal page which is for donors who would like to make a regular donation of £9.99 a month to help support SARS –