'I arrived in the Lake District for a holiday with my family... then everything got very scary'

Sarah Baines and husband Mike
Sarah Baines and husband Mike -Credit:NWAS

A woman who suffered a heart attack when on a holiday in the Lake District with her family has spoken of her 'scary' ordeal.

Sarah Baines, a nurse from Hyde, had just arrived in Backbarrow, Ulverston in October last year when she suddenly started to feel unwell.

With the lift out of order, the 61-year-old began climbing the stairs to her apartment before being sick and falling onto the floor with chest and back pain.

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Her brother William immediately called 999 and paramedics were at the scene within ten minutes. After carrying out an Electrocardiogram (ECG), it was confirmed that Sarah was suffering a heart attack.

Reliving the ordeal, Sarah said: "My brain just wasn’t accepting it. I kept asking how I could be having a heart attack. I am only 61; I work full time, and I go to the gym.

"I had been having back and shoulder pain for two weeks prior but put it down to a work injury and recent shoulder surgery. It was only when my top lip started twitching, and I got pins and needles in my jaw that I accepted that I had a heart attack.”

Sarah was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital from the scene and given treatment. She had a stent fitted the same day and spent three days in hospital.

“The journey to the hospital was scary, but Rachel [the paramedic] explained everything to me and told me what would happen when we got there. I was quite agitated, and my pain was starting to creep up again, but Tim and Rachel were amazing; they kept reassuring me.

"My husband, who is registered blind, accompanied me on the ambulance, and they were so attentive to him as well, making sure he was ok and that he didn’t get lost in the hospital when we arrived.

“Someone was definitely looking down on me that day as everything fell into place. From the time it took for the ambulance to get there and the fire brigade to arrive to carry me down the stairs to getting to the hospital and receiving treatment, it was all so fast.

"I can’t thank Rachel and Tim enough for saving my life and for taking such good care of me. I have since seen my cardiologist, who has said I have slight damage to my heart, but because of the quality and speed of the care I received, it is a lot less damage than it could have been.”

After recuperating at home for some time, Sarah recently returned to work and completed her first park run earlier this month. She is now looking forward to going on holiday with her husband later this year.

Last week, Sarah and her family were invited to the North West Ambulance Service Cumbria and Lancashire Headquarters at Broughton to meet Emergency Medical Technician Tim and Paramedic Rachel. She was also given a tour of the 999 emergency control room based at the site.

Sarah and Mike with Emergency Medical Technician Tim Miles and Paramedic Rachel Lowder
Sarah and Mike with Emergency Medical Technician Tim Miles and Paramedic Rachel Lowder -Credit:NWAS

NWAS Head of Operations for Cumbria and Lancashire, Gene Quinn, said: “We are incredibly proud of the care that our staff provide, but it’s always great to hear from our patients who are doing well after our involvement. But it’s not just down to our frontline line ambulance crews; our control staff play a significant role in ensuring that our patients receive the proper care, as do all the background support teams."