A WOMAN who suffered a rare cardiac arrest has been reunited with the ambulance crew who saved her.

Nicola Worts, 48, from Rayleigh, suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection at home after having dinner with her husband.

Her heart stopped for 16 minutes before an East of England Ambulance crew revived her.

Mrs Worts gave a heartfelt thankyou to paramedics, including newly qualified Tracey Bennett, who had never dealt with a cardiac arrest before.

She added: “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.

“My cardiologist, Dr Tom Keeble at Southend Hospital has been fantastic as well.”

At the time of the attack, Mrs Worts complained of unusual chest pains which vanished when paramedics arrived.

But she suddenly collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.  

It took 16 minutes of CPR and four shocks with a defibrillator before Tracey and colleague Kevin McEvoy revived her.

Tracey said: “I never thought for one moment that we weren’t going to bring her back, 16 minutes felt like forever but we didn’t give up.”

Kevin added: “In all my time in the Trust, I’ve never experienced a cardiac arrest like this one.”

Mrs Worts was taken on blue lights to Southend Hospital where she spent several weeks recovering, last March.

She later discovered she had suffered a rare type of heart attack, before deciding to put herself forward for medical research at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

Speaking a year after the attack, Mr Worts described the ordeal as “surreal.”

He had called NHS 111 after his wife’s chest complaint, but was passed to East of England Ambulance medics.

He said: “It’s understandably something I will never forget.

“It’s been tough at times, and I often wrapped her in cotton wool in the beginning, but slowly the old Nicola came back to us which has made it much easier.”