‘It could happen to anyone’ – Ely mother whose husband saved her life after her heart stopped raises awareness of CPR
PUBLISHED: 10:43 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 29 October 2019
An inspirational mother-of-two from Ely whose husband saved her life after her heart stopped is raising awareness of vital CPR training.
Charlotte Salmons suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in August 2017.
The 33-year-old had returned from a "stress-free" day of shopping when she suddenly felt unwell and passed out in her living room.
Her husband James, 40, frantically called for an ambulance before performing CPR - which saved her life.
Charlotte, who is mum to Grace, seven, and Alfie, three, has now joined forces with Isle of Ely Primary School to help parents and children understand the basics of CPR.
She said: "When I had my cardiac arrest it was actually a stress-free day where I had been out shopping and drove home just an hour before.
"I said to James that I didn't feel well, then I just fainted and went out cold.
"James had been CPR trained 18-months before at work, just in the basics of it.
"He rang 999 and when he explained my symptoms they said 'now is the time - you need to perform CPR now'.
First responders quickly arrived on the scene and Charlotte received two shocks from a defibrillator to get her heart back into a rhythm.
She now has a pacemaker fitted and an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) that sends electrical pulses to regulate the heart.
"My independence and freedom went and I lay in a coma for two days," Charlotte continued.
"A similar incident happened while we were on holiday at Butlins last year - just 11 months on.
"So last I decided to have heart surgery and thankfully it was a success."
Charlotte was eager to take the positives from her experience by working with children and parents to raise awareness of heart conditions.
A special day was held at Isle of Ely Primary on October 17 where children were greeted by East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) crew.
Basic CPR was demonstrated for parents and guidance on using defibrillators.
"I know that I am a better person for having gone through all this," Charlotte added.
"I wanted to turn this into a positive and possibly save a life from giving other people the knowledge of CPR.
"It could happen to anyone."