‘My husband saved my life’ - Norwich woman’s gratitude to her hero after cardiac arrest

Hollie McGregor and daughter Isabella thank hero husband Jamie as his swift actions meant she defied

Hollie McGregor and daughter Isabella thank hero husband Jamie as his swift actions meant she defied the odds and survived after waking up out of breath in cardiac arrest.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A young woman who almost died of an undiagnosed heart condition has today thanked her husband for saving her life.

Hollie McGregor and daughter Isabella thank hero husband Jamie as his swift actions meant she defied

Hollie McGregor and daughter Isabella thank hero husband Jamie as his swift actions meant she defied the odds and survived after waking up out of breath in cardiac arrest.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Hollie McGregor, 31, had just returned from a trip to Disneyland Paris with her husband Jamie, 37, and their two children Isabella, aged seven and Noah, aged five.

She went to bed as normal at the family home in Freshers Mews, Norwich, but awoke in the early hours with irregular breathing and a racing heartbeat before losing consciousness.

Mr McGregor described hearing his wife 'gasping for air' which woke him up, and he dialled 999 when he was unable to get a response.

He performed CPR, following the instructions of the 999 call handler, until paramedics arrived, and she was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) where she remained for almost a fortnight.


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'I can't remember anything,' said Mrs McGregor, who works as a dinner lady at Bawburgh School. 'It's a complete blank.

'My next memory was a week later.

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'I was told I was incredibly lucky to survive it.'

She later learned that she had long QT syndrome, which rarely has physical symptoms and is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young, otherwise healthy people.

She has now been fitted with a defibrillator implant, and her wider family are having checks as the condition can be genetic.

She had spent two days in the critical care unit before moving to a ward and having an operation to fit the defibrillator device a week later.

'My husband saved my life,' she said. 'Instead of panicking he went straight into action.

'I'm still here with him and our children and he gave me that.'

She also praised all the NHS staff who helped, as well as friends and family who supported her.

Mrs McGregor had no problems with high blood pressure, kept fit at Zumba classes and had recently lost two stone on weight with Slimming World.

'I'm a normal, healthy 31-year-old and I didn't feel unwell before,' she said. 'It just suddenly happened.

'It's how it goes, and unfortunately a lot of people don't survive it.'

Mr McGregor, a self-employed ceramic tiler, said it had been an evening like any other before he awoke in horror.

'I put the washing on for the morning, watched the Walking Dead then went to bed,' he said. 'You hear noises when you're half awake but asleep.

'I woke up around 5am and she was grey-looking, gasping for air.

'I tried to wake her up and when that didn't work I dialled 999.'

It was a 'traumatic' experience that, and he had nothing but praise for the NHS staff who helped.

'The hospital have been absolutely amazing and the first responders were there within minutes,' he said. 'I was walking the dog last night thinking about what happened and it sank in how close to death she was.

'Hopefully in a month it will just be a horrible memory.'

It happened on April 12 and she was discharged last week.

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