Sam's Story - NottinghamshireLive
Mum describes terrifying moment her heart stopped beating in front of her seven-year-old daughter
She started to sweat heavily, and her skin started to change colour
BY HANNAH MITCHELL 12 SEP 2019 : NottinghamshireLive
A mum has described the moment she had a heart attack in front of her seven-year-old daughter.
Sam Dixon, 43, was at home with her partner Dan Gooch and daughter Katie, when her heart suddenly stopped beating
The mum, from Attenborough, had started experiencing severe sharp stabbing pains which radiated from her chest and into her jaw.
Moments later, Sam started to sweat heavily, and her skin started to change colour.
Sam, who works in housing, said: “We had been on a lovely day out and none of us had any idea as to what was about to unfold later that day.
“When we all got back home Katie wanted to plant some marigolds in the garden.
“I went upstairs to get changed into suitable gardening gear when I started to feel the symptoms of a heart attack.
“I had come back downstairs when it started and I called Dan and said ‘I am having a heart attack’ and I can’t remember anything else.”
Dan, a school teacher, came running downstairs to help and call 999. The ambulance arrived in 19 minutes.
Within minutes of the paramedics arriving Sam had gone into cardiac arrest – when the heart actually stops working.
She needed five shocks to bring her back around, and while the terrifying ordeal unfolded Katie ran away to hide in her bedroom.
Dan said: “It was a terrifying few moments. We were holding her hand and making sure she was okay and then she went into cardiac arrest.
“That was really quite scary for us all but the paramedics were fantastic and we are so grateful for how quickly they arrived.”
EMAS technician, Dave Seaton, was one of the first people to arrive at the scene.
He said: “When I arrived Sam was laying on the ground and I helped her to stand up, so I could sit her on the sofa for a proper assessment
“We had been having a conversation, but once she sat down on the sofa she just went into cardiac arrest in front of us all.
“Her partner and daughter were in the room with us at the time and the whole thing was rather traumatic, even with my 34 years of experience in the job.
Sam had what is known as a ‘SCAD’ heart attack – Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection – which is where a tear forms in the vessels of the heart.
The condition most commonly affects women in their 40s and 50s, though it can occur at any age, or in men. People who develop SCAD are often healthy.
Receiving CPR within the first three to four minutes of a cardiac arrest is crucial in terms of maximising the chances of survival, and Sam said she wouldn’t be here today without the paramedics.
She said: “I was able to celebrate my daughter’s eighth birthday with her because of them. They arrived so quickly and they saved my life.”
Sam was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre and treated in the Trent Cardiac Centre after the heart attack.
She is now on the road to recovery following the incident on May 5 2019.