Mansfield coma patient’s emotional reunion with ambulance crew who saved her life

Cathy Cook is re-united with ambulance crew who saved her life when she developed severe pneumonia. Cathy is pictured with Gill Caldwell, Kyle Thacker and Rebecca Ireland
Cathy Cook is re-united with ambulance crew who saved her life when she developed severe pneumonia. Cathy is pictured with Gill Caldwell, Kyle Thacker and Rebecca Ireland

A Mansfield woman who was put into a coma for 19 days after developing life-threatening pneumonia has been reunited with the ambulance crew who saved her life.

Cathy Cook held an emotional get-together with paramedics Rebecca Ireland and Gillian Caldwell at her home in Langham Place on Monday.

The 50-year-old sobbed as as she recalled the evening she began struggling to breathe and her husband Wayne had to call for an ambulance.

She had already been diagnosed with a chest infection, but this developed into pneumonia and quickly became life-threatening.

Rebecca and Gillian were able to treat Cathy in the ambulance on the way to Kings Mill Hospital, Sutton.

However, due to the severity of the pneumonia, doctors at the hospital took the decision to put Cathy into an induced coma for 19 days, to help her body recover from the illness.

When Cathy woke up, she was mostly concerned about whether she had missed a Shakin’ Stevens gig – which was not for another eight weeks.

Cathy said: “The only thing I can remember is these two lovely ladies making me laugh all the way to King’s Mill.

“The next thing I knew I was having tubes put down my throat and being wheeled into the operating theatre, before I woke up in intensive care. It was a scary experience.”

Cathy is still recovering, but was excited to meet her life-savers so she could say “thank you” in person.

She said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them, it’s as simple as that.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

Gillian said: “I think Cathy was laughing at us, rather than with us.

“She was arguing with us, saying she didn’t want to go to hospital – she still had enough breath to do that!

“But we finally managed to convince her it was serious and thankfully she’s okay now.

“It’s lovely to see her again, and to be recognised.

“A lot of people don’t realise we cover a large area, the whole of North Nottinghamshire and as far as up as Doncaster, and the job can be as stressful as it is rewarding.”

Wayne also thanked 999 call handler Kyle Thacker, who attended the reunion, for keeping him calm while he waited for the ambulance.

Wayne said: “He was brilliant.

“The ambulance service, and the NHS in general, do not get anywhere near enough praise for everything that they do.

“Who knows where we’d be today if it wasn’t for them?”

Kyle, who revealed he took 100 calls that day, January 26, said: “We managed to get an ambulance to Cathy within nine minutes.

“Wayne was really panicked so I reassured him before help arrived.”