A woman who survived a collapse on Christmas Eve in a busy supermarket thanks to the remarkable efforts of staff and passers-by has held an emotional reunion with her rescuers.
Catherine Maguire, 48, was shopping with her three daughters and her husband for a last-minute present in Sainsbury’s at the Arnison Centre, Durham, when she dropped to the floor in the entrance.
She had a blood clot to the heart, stopped breathing and had no pulse when store staff leapt into action, followed by Police and Community Support Officer Debbie Sadler-Knox, and they tried to revive her with CPR.
Catherine Maguire (centre), is reunited with off duty paramedic Stephen Tate and PCSO Debbie Sadler-Knox (Owen Humphreys/PA)
They were joined by off-duty paramedic Stephen Tate, a passing anaesthetist and an on-duty paramedic Sarah Ulph, who happened to be refueling at the supermarket.
Mr Tate used a defibrillator to twice shock Mrs Maguire’s heart and revived her. The equipment had only been in the store since October. She was then flown by air ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
Less than a fortnight on, Mrs Maguire was well enough to go back to the Sainsbury’s near her home in Framwellgate Moor, to thank everyone. The Northumbrian Water administrator said: “I feel extremely lucky to be alive because I don’t think I would have survived if it hadn’t been here, with all the people here to help me.”
Catherine Maguire (centre), is reunited with paramedic Sarah Ulph (left) and PCSO Debbie Sadler-Knox
Her husband Jon, 45, relived the terror he felt during the event which happened in front of their daughters, Mollyann, 14, Maisie, 12, and Grace, 10.
<b>He said: “It was horrible. My girls have seen things they shouldn’t have seen.”</b>
Mr Tate, who was shopping for last-minute Christmas items, said: “She was dead to all intents and purposes. She was not breathing and had no cardiac output.”
Miss Ulph, who joined him soon after, said: “To have everybody here in such a close area is amazing. To have a cardiac arrest in front of paramedics, first aiders, a defib, an anaesthetist, that’s amazing. God forbid for it to happen, but you couldn’t hope for it to happen with better people around you.”