Father-of-two, 35, 'lucky to be alive' after having cardiac arrest in sleep

Becky and Dean Turner

Becky and Dean Turner with their two children, Jamie and Chloe. - Credit: Becky Turner

A mum-of-two from Martlesham has told of the "terrifying" moment she had to perform CPR on her husband after he suffered a cardiac in his sleep.

Becky Turner, 27, is walking 100 miles in January to raise money for the East of England Ambulance Service - who saved her husband Dean, when he suffered a cardiac arrest in October, aged 35.

The paramedics took over from Mrs Turner, who had already performed 15 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), before trying to revive Mr Turner for a further 30 minutes with five shocks of the defibrillator.

They managed to stabilise the father-of-two, who has no known medical history of heart problems, before taking him to Ipswich Hospital.

Speaking of that night, Mrs Turner, a former healthcare assistant, said: "I thought he was having a bad dream, but I couldn't wake him and he was just breathing outwards. It was terrifying. 

"The man on the 999 call helped keep me calm and counted out loud for me while I did the CPR. But I was panicking the whole time thinking he was not going to make it."

Once at hospital, Mr Turner was put into an induced coma, which he stayed in for nine days before waking up. 

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Mrs Turner said it was the "not knowing" which was so difficult, and only being able to book hour slots to visit due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Luckily, Mr Turner suffered no brain damage as a result of the cardiac arrest, but his speech was slurred and he had to learn to walk again.

He was later transferred to the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Turner was diagnosed with brugada syndrome, which is a rare but serious condition that affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart.

The hereditary condition can cause the heart to beat dangerously fast and can sometimes be life-threatening.

Becky Turner, on her walk for her 100 mile challenge, supported by her husband Dean and their children Jamie and Chloe. 

Becky Turner, on her walk for her 100 mile challenge, supported by her husband Dean and their children Jamie and Chloe. - Credit: Becky Turner

Now, Mr Turner is recovering well and has enjoyed a special Christmas with his family - one that he knows he was lucky to see. 

"I feel lucky to be alive," said Mr Turner, who works in Thetford as a store manager.

"I feel grateful that I was strong enough to get back for my children and Becky, and I am grateful that the paramedics didn't give up on me.

"The fundraiser Becky is doing for the ambulance service is amazing, we can't thank them enough."

Mr and Mrs Turner hope to find the paramedics and the 999 caller who helped them in their time of need, and ultimately saved Mr Turner's life, as they would like to thank them. 

"I want to thank the ambulance service for saving my life, it feels amazing to be here. I think we take them for granted sometimes," said Mr Turner. 

"Some families are not so fortunate."

You can donate to Mrs Turner's fundraiser here.

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