Leyburn woman meets Great North Air Ambulance paramedic who came to her aid

Ruth Boyes with husband David and paramedic Paul Burnage.

A Leyburn woman who suffered a cardiac arrest has visited the paramedic from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who came to her aid.

Ruth Boyes, 73, was at home with her husband David when she fell seriously ill and required the emergency services on March 24.

She said: “I hadn’t felt well the day before and my arms were aching, but I have polymyalgia so I ache anyway. In the night I had pain in my arm, and I felt really ill so I said to my husband to send for an ambulance.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) were initially called to the scene and checked Mrs Boyes’ heart rhythm and electrical activity before deciding to transport her to hospital for further tests.

During the journey Mrs Boyes stopped breathing and she was resuscitated by the YAS crew, before the GNAAS paramedic and doctor team were called for their assistance.

She said: “I got in the ambulance and we had only gone half a mile and I was talking to the paramedic when suddenly I had this dreadful feeling. I can’t remember anymore, but then I remember looking out of the window and wondering why I haven’t got any clothes on and why I was in a field.

“I got put in the helicopter quickly and felt terrible. I think I was sick all over the crew which I’m very sorry about.”

Mrs Boyes was flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where she stayed for three days and had a stent put in one of her arteries.

She said: “It was such an incredible shock, I’m always so busy and never had a sedentary life. I just can’t express my gratitude to the paramedic which saved my life and then the crew that continued to keep me alive in the helicopter. I live in a rural area so I couldn’t have had better care. Luckily only one artery was blocked, the rest looked pretty good for my age.”

Mrs Boyes recently visited the GNAAS base at Durham Tees Valley Airport and met paramedic Paul Burnage who treated her.

She said: “I am eternally grateful to both crews, I don’t think I would have made it if I had gone by road, it would have taken an hour and I was very very ill. The immediate rapid response of GNAAS and their caring professionalism made me feel so safe and secure, they are absolutely amazing.”

GNAAS relies on public donations to keep flying. Last year the charity needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.