Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A Special Thank You To Some Amazing People!

Followers of KT Miniatures may remember the difficult time my family had last November, when out of the blue my 22 year old daughter suddenly collapsed at a party, after having driven herself up the 70 miles to Birmingham for the weekend to stay with an old school friend. The phone call that evening from the hospital asking me to come asap and then the subsequent events during those next few days were truly shocking. 

Kate and her friend had only been at the party for a few minutes when suddenly she collapsed with no warning at all. It turned out Kate's heart had stopped, she had gone into cardiac arrest, but miraculously four medical students happened to be in the same room as Kate that very moment. All four girls stayed calm as they realised what was happening, allowing their training to kick in. They worked as a team, each playing a part in helping Kate, during what was a traumatic experience for them too. I shall always be grateful to all four of them, but particularly Jess and Claudia who launched into CPR, even though they had never done it for real before, other than learning the basics on a dummy!

Subsequently all the paramedics, plus the whole team of doctors and nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham were truly magnificent, and I saw the NHS at its very best.  We were left in no doubt that had those medical students not undertaken CPR so quickly and effectively, it was unlikely that Kate would have survived. They really had saved her life!

Once the dust settled, we as a family decided that we would like to give the four girls a thank you present...but what do you give someone who has saved your daughter's life? A bottle of wine or box of chocolates seemed so inappropriate somehow. After much family debate it was decided that I should write to the Dean of Birmingham Medical School to inform him on what the students had done and ask if the girls could get some kind of congratulatory recognition for their actions.  His reply was instant.

So on the afternoon of February 14th 2018, Kate and I found ourselves in the office of the Vice Chancellor of Birmingham University with the four medical students, some of their parents, and various officials, tutors from the university and a doctor who is integral to the CPR training. 

The girls were given a newly created award -
The Vice-Chancellor's Special Commendation Award
If you click on the following link, enlarge the magazine text and scroll to page 10, you can read all about it: 

There is a minor detail wrong in the write up, as Kate has not been a student for a couple of years, since she graduated from Sheffield Hallam University and has been working ever since.  But the article does illustrate how not only amazing the medical students are but also how wonderful and effective the training is at the Birmingham Medical School. I have no doubt that those four girls will go on to become incredible doctors, and they more than deserved the special recognition. In our eyes, they are absolute heroes!

To date, there is still no definitive diagnosis for the cause of Kate's cardiac arrest, and the terminology "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome" has been mentioned. And although Kate has had a S-ICD (a mini defibrillator) fitted into her side in case her heart stops again, she is back at work, and  we have so much to be thankful for. We were told that only 8% of people survive what she went through. And out of them, some have brain damage. So we REALLY do have a lot to be thankful for. 

For anyone who has gone through similar to Kate, I can highly recommend the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity (CRY). 

So thank you everyone, who have been emailing these past few weeks to ask how Kate is doing, I do appreciate it. 

The answer is...she is doing ok.


Elizabeth S said...

What a FANTASTIC story!!!
I am sooooo happy for you and your daughter! I firmly believe that GOD was watching out for Kate and that the medical students were in the right place at the right time and knew immediately what to do to help save her life.
Your way of Thanking them through the Award from the medical school was BRILLIANT!
Well Done All
An Amazing story with a Very Happy Ending! :D

Anna said...

Dear Celia and Kate,
I cannot even begin to imagine how scary it must have been for you and your family. I am just so happy for you that the right people were in the right place at the right time. The official recognition of girls is simply fabulous. They really ought to have their robe and mortar replaced by super hero capes at their graduation.

Love to all Anna

Robin said...

My Mum used to say, 'If God can't come himself, He sends......'

A very fitting and thoughtful 'Thank You' which I'm sure is appreciated by all medics everywhere.

Giac said...

Hello Celia,
I cannot put into words how happy I am that things turned out as they did. Kate clearly has a guardian angel looking over her. It is wonderful that you took the steps to have these 4 students heroic deed acknowledged.
Big hug

KT Miniatures said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I must admit I really do feel that some unseen forces were looking after Kate that night, and ensuring that when it happened, those four medical students were in the right place at the right time. The timing just had to be more than a coincidence? It is hard not to dwell on the "what if's" when I think back to what happened ie. what if she had the cardiac arrest whilst she was driving up the motorway just a couple of hours before, or what if it happened when she was in bed that night, etc. I do like to think that her guardian angel was looking after her.

What those girls did for Kate was amazing, and proves that the vocation they have chosen is the right one for them! They were telling me that up until then, they had always been supervised in anything medical that they have done...so this had been the first time that they had to make their own judgement and hope that they were doing the CPR right. Celia

jenann said...

I believe in angels of the human type and these girls were very much Kate's angels. It is so lovely that they were formally given recognition for their determination and professionalism.