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Retired university administrator Pauline Dainty says “it’s like a miracle” that after having a heart attack whilst walking in the Peak District she suffered no long term damage and now leads a full and active life.

“I am so fortunate and am sure it is because of the fantastic speed and efficiency of the local air ambulance that flew me to hospital,” she says.

Pauline 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 dialled 999 and a land ambulance attended the scene.

Pauline was given morphine to help ease the pain but it was vital that she got the urgent medical treatment she needed as quickly as possible and so the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance was called out to fly her to the Royal Derby Hospital 11 miles away by road.

The journey would normally take about half an hour via the A52 but on this particular day there was traffic chaos around Ashbourne and the local roads were at a standstill. The flight took just 7 minutes.

“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 long term damage and I now lead a normal life,” says Pauline.

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

Pauline 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.


About 18% of our rescue missions are to medical emergencies.

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