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Former patient now leads a full and active life thanks to local air ambulance

Former patient now leads a full and active life thanks to local air ambulance

Four years ago, on 9 March 2017, retired University administrator Pauline Dainty was flown to Royal Derby Hospital by the local air ambulance after she suffered a heart attack whilst walking in the Peak District.

Today she leads a full and active life and was well enough to celebrate her 70th birthday with family and friends just two months after it happened.

Pauline says it is “a miracle” that she suffered no long-term damage from the heart attack and she credits the speed with which she got to hospital for treatment as being part of the reason for this.

It took just seven minutes to fly Pauline to the cardiac centre at Royal Derby Hospital – a journey that would have taken about half an hour in a land ambulance.

On this particular day there was traffic chaos around Ashbourne and the local roads were at a standstill so it would have taken even longer than usual to get there by road.

Pauline says:

“Everything happened so quickly. I had the heart attack at 2pm and by 3.30pm I was on a ward after having a stent fitted. The helicopter landed on the hospital roof, the consultant was waiting for me and did the procedure immediately. The quick treatment meant I had no lasting damage and I now lead a normal life.”

She was nearing the top of a flight of steep steps at Ashbourne Heights camp site near Fenny Bentley when she had severe chest pains which caused her to roll around on the ground in agony.

“At first I thought it was bad indigestion, but it got really bad, worse than having a baby,” she says.

A member of staff at the campsite called 999.

Pauline was kept in hospital for two days and had to take it easy for a while afterwards to recover properly.

She is now on regular medication and enjoys life to the full – including taking long walks in the local countryside.

“You would never know now that I had a heart attack. I thank God and the local air ambulance for saving me,” she says.

Pauline, from Nottingham, is a familiar face to shoppers at the local air ambulance superstore in Alfreton. There is a large photo of her with a message thanking people for visiting on the side of the building and she was invited to cut the ribbon at the official opening in 2019.

She says: “I support the charity because of my gratitude to them. Without the local air ambulance my life would not have been saved and I am therefore happy to do anything I can to help the charity so other people benefit from their lifesaving work like I did.”

The charity will officially be launching its brand new replacement aircraft on 10 March and need the public’s support now more than ever as they enter service on the frontline – helping to save lives. To read more, click here.