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Care worker who collapsed praises GNAAS

Thu, 18 May 2023

A care worker from Jurby has opened up about her ordeal after collapsing while looking after a client in their home. 
Aretha Lawson had been helping her 93-year-old client get dressed on the morning of 6 March when she began to feel unwell.
Mrs Lawson said: “I am a carer, and I was at a client’s house doing my usual jobs when all of a sudden, I started to feel very sick and dizzy and sweaty.
“I excused myself and told the lady I was looking after that I was going to get some fresh air. The next thing I remember is waking up on the concrete outside of her house.”
The 54-year-old had then managed to get herself from the pavement into her car before blacking out.
Mrs Lawson said: “When I came around again in my car, I rang my husband Julian who rushed down to find me.”
It is believed that Mrs Lawson managed to crawl to her car after collapsing outside of her client’s house before calling her husband.
Mrs Lawson said: “The knees of my trousers were all ripped and rotten and I had a terrible cut to the head, so I really had hit the floor with some force, but I didn’t know then how bad it was. 
“Julian called 999 and the Isle of Man Ambulance Service arrived.
“The first ambulance arrived and told Julian I was very ill, and it wasn’t long until a second ambulance arrived. I’ve been told my heart wasn’t beating properly and the team of paramedics were working on me for a long time.”
The Isle of Man Ambulance Service decided to call on the help of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), who arrived on scene within minutes. 
GNAAS’ critical care team that day on the charity’s Pride of Cumbria II helicopter was made up of doctor Ric Procter, paramedics Sarah Graham and Mike Sproat, and pilot, Stu Rushton.
The team arrived on scene and assessed Mrs Lawson before deciding that she was stable enough to be taken by road to Nobles Hospital.
Mrs Lawson said: “I remember saying to Julian ‘go in and see her’ as I knew she would need help inside her house with her breakfast. 
“I was a mess when I got to hospital. I had bashed my face big style, had a gash on my eye, had twisted my knees and bruised my whole leg. 
“They did tests on me and scans to see why I had collapsed but they just couldn’t pinpoint what it was which is so scary.”
Mrs Lawson was in hospital for three days before going home and being put on bed rest. 
Mrs Lawson said: “Before my accident, I hadn’t heard of GNAAS but now I follow all of their social media pages and I plan on doing fundraising for them this year.”
She added: “They still don’t know what caused me to collapse that day, so I am definitely trying to slow down, focus on myself and listen to my body.”
GNAAS has responded to 22 patients in the Isle of Man since April 2022. 


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