A woman who had a heart attack whilst on holiday in south Cumbria has met the paramedic who saved her life.

Sarah Baines, a nurse from Manchester, began a mid-week break with her family in Backbarrow in October.

She began feeling unwell, and climbed the stairs to the apartment. After this, she was sick and ended up on the floor in pain, leading her brother William to call for emergency assistance.

Emergency medical technician Tim Miles and paramedic Rachel Lowder arrived within ten minutes, and conducting routine checks and an electrocardiogram (ECG), concluded that Mrs Baines was having a heart attack.

With assistance from the fire service, she was safely carried out of the building and into their care.

Despite this diagnosis, Mrs Baines found the situation hard to believe.

In her own words, she said: "My brain just wasn’t accepting it.

"I kept asking how I could be having a heart attack.

"I am only 61; I work full time, and I go to the gym."

Prompt action saw her swiftly transported to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Mrs Baines added: "The journey to the hospital was scary, but Rachel explained everything to me and told me what would happen when we got there.

"My husband, who is registered blind, accompanied me on the ambulance, and they were so attentive to him as well, making sure he was ok and that he didn’t get lost in the hospital when we arrived."

Mrs Baines was treated immediately upon arrival at the hospital, a stent was fitted, and she spent three days in care.

Following this ordeal, the Baines family was invited to Cumbria and Lancashire Headquarters at Broughton to meet with Tim and Rachel, alongside Joe Brookfield who managed the incident from control.

NWAS head of operations for Cumbria and Lancashire, Gene Quinn said: "We are incredibly proud of the care that our staff provide, but it’s always great to hear from our patients who are doing well after our involvement.

"But it's not just down to our frontline line ambulance crews; our control staff play a significant role in ensuring that our patients receive the proper care, as do all the background support teams."

After a period of rest, she has returned to her work and managed to complete a park run earlier this month.

She told us: "Someone was definitely looking down on me that day as everything fell into place.

"I can’t thank Rachel and Tim enough for saving my life and for taking such good care of me.

"I have since seen my cardiologist, who has said I have slight damage to my heart, but because of the quality and speed of the care I received, it is a lot less damage than it could have been."

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked, generally due to a blood clot.

If untreated, this can cause serious damage to the heart muscle and is potentially life-threatening.

Anyone experiencing signs of a heart attack such as chest pain, shortness of breath and feelings of nausea should call 999 immediately.