West Leigh mum who suffered 12 anaphylactic shocks thanks life-saver paramedics
A MUM-OF-ONE who has suffered a dozen anaphylactic shocks since her Covid-19 jabs has thanked the paramedics who saved her life during one of her worst attacks – becoming their first patient to do so.
For South Central Ambulance Service paramedics Chloe Long, Tim Ray, and Candy Brewer, saving lives is all part of a job where personal thanks is hard to come by – but Kirsty Hext wanted to go above and beyond after a close brush with death on May 19.
The trio rushed to Kirsty’s West Leigh home after she realised she was suffering her 12th anaphylactic shock in less than two months, with the life-threatening attacks starting in April due to a reaction to her second Pfizer vaccination against Covid-19.
The 26-year-old said: ‘I was just getting ready for bed and I could feel my lips tingling and my throat was starting to swell, and I was dribbling.
‘I said to my partner, ‘I need my EpiPen.
‘At first, I was just annoyed – I just wanted to go to bed.
‘But every time it happened, I was scared I wasn’t going to see my daughter again.’
With Kirsty’s condition quickly becoming worse, her partner called an ambulance and paramedics Chloe and Tim soon realised they would be fighting for their patient’s life as they rushed her to hospital.
Tim said: ‘We had a call from our control unit (to say that) she was deteriorating.
‘She was panicking, but she was able to talk.
‘Her condition became worse in the ambulance. She had defibrillator pads on her chest, a tube down her throat – it was the worst that could happen. It’s as serious as you can get.
‘I shouted through to Chloe to drive faster.’
Kirsty added: ‘As far as I know, that was the first time where I stopped breathing.’
Chloe’s skilful driving quickly brought Kirsty to Queen Alexandra Hospital, where she suffered two further attacks over the next week.
Now home, she has been able to thank the paramedic team in person – and give them special paramedic-themed key rings to remind them ‘not all heroes wear capes’, according to the grateful patient.
Addressing the trio, she said: ‘To me, you have kept me as a mum for my daughter.
‘You saved my life.’
Tim said: ‘This is the first time we have met someone after an incident.
‘We get thank you notes and emails – but this is special.’
Chloe said: ‘It’s not something we get as jobs go by so quickly.’
Paramedic Candy was unable to attend the meeting, but the team would ensure she receives the gift, according to Tim.
The 51-year-old said: ‘It was a bit of a shock for her. It was her first big job – she was quite emotional afterwards.’
Since her second vaccine dose, Kirsty has also suffered a series of seizures, with one causing her to fall down the stairs, fracturing her wrist, leg and cheekbone.
But she does not regret becoming vaccinated. ‘I would still encourage people to have the vaccine,’ she said. ‘I was worried that people wouldn’t want to get it after they heard my story.
‘Things can always go wrong with new treatment.’
Kirsty has not suffered another attack or seizure since leaving hospital last month, the longest period free of episodes since her second jab.