A Haverhill mother who suffered a near fatal anaphylactic shock caused by an undiagnosed allergy has praised the swift actions of the paramedic and ambulance crew who saved her life.
Heidi Ince, 37, of Osprey Road, was about to go to bed on the evening of February 28 when her tongue started to swell and she became short of breath.
Her 17-year-old son Oliver called the ambulance service and a paramedic was quickly on scene – administering shots of adrenaline as Miss Ince’s airway had begun to close.
Running out of adrenaline and with Miss Ince’s four children looking on, the paramedic re-routed an ambulance which had been diverted to another incident and she was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge .
Miss Ince said: “The paramedic was amazing – professional and calm. It was like she had 10 pairs of hands.”
With her heart rate dropping, she went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated in hospital.
By this time her airway had completely closed and she was taken to theatre to have a breathing tube fitted. She had to be revived once more after her heart stopped for a second time.
Miss Ince said: “I was in an induced coma. They didn’t know if I was going to make it. All of my close family and friends were called to the hospital to say their goodbyes.”
The hospital later discovered that Miss Ince had an undiagnosed allergy to peach extract as well as other foods/extracts such as bell pepper and coconut.
On the day she suffered the anaphylactic shock, Miss Ince had come into contact with a frozen smoothie mix and had used a peach face wash before she went to bed.
She also has an issue with her immune system which caused her severe reaction.
Miss Ince regained consciousness four days later and returned home the following week.
She has praised the ambulance team which included paramedic Jenifer Brandrith as well as Raz Dalby and Stuart Hornsby. Miss Ince said: “If I lived a thousand years I would never be able to thank them enough for what they did. I owe my life to those people.”
An ambulance spokesman said they were ‘delighted to hear’ she was on the road to recovery and were ‘grateful’ she had taken the time to thank them.