Husband’s desperate wait for paramedics

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A frantic Mansfield man spent 40 minutes fighting to save his wife’s life as paramedics struggled to find their address after she suffered a major heart attack.

Linda Henson (58) of Heanor Walk on the Oak Tree Lane estate, collapsed at home and husband Keith dialled 999 after he found her lying unconscious on the bedroom floor.

But when red-faced paramedics arrived 40 minutes later they explained that they had not been able to find the home because the street signs were not clear.

Keith (59), who is a trained first-aider, performed emergency CPR on his wife until crews arrived - more than half an hour after the required response time.

Paramedics then fought for a further 20 minutes to make Linda stable before she was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment in the intensive care unit.

Two months earlier it had taken a crew from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) more than 30 minutes to arrive at their home after Keith also suffered a suspected heart-attack, the couple said.

“Linda always goes to bed at around 9.30pm and she had just gone upstairs when I heard this noise, which sounded a bit like someone dropping a cup on the floor,” Keith told Chad.

“Then there was a really loud bang and I rushed upstairs and found Linda lying unconscious on the floor in the bedroom.

“I had to leave her while I went downstairs and dialled for an ambulance and unlocked the door but it took them around 40 minutes to arrive and when they did they said they hadn’t been able to find the house.”

Linda’s condition was so severe that she lost all vital signs when she suffered the heart attack on 23rd May, and spent a total of 11 days in hospital - first at Kings Mill and later at Nottingham City Hospital, where she was transferred for specialist care.

While in hospital Linda suffered three further heart attacks and is now waiting for a defibrillator to be fitted to control her heart rhythms.

Former Stags steward Keith, who learnt first aid while working for the club, added: “For me the problem was caused by poor signage.

“There’s no signage from the main road and the actual sign for Heanor Walk is usually obscured by parked cars and there are trees in the way as well.“

Heanor Walk is accessed via Edale Road and Glossop Avenue, and Keith is now calling on Mansfield District Council to install improved signage so his street can be found more easily in case of future emergencies.”

A spokesman for the district authority said that residents with concerns over road signage should contact the authority which will then arrange an inspection of the site.

According to Government targets, 75 per cent of ambulances should arrive at the scene of life-threatening incidents within eight minutes.

EMAS has now updated its records to ensure paramedics can find the Hensons’ home in case of future emergencies.

A spokesman said: “It’s clearly important for our frontline crews to be able to locate addresses as quickly as possible and we’re now in the process of adding instructions onto our system so crews will in future be able to find Heanor Walk without delay.

“We’d like to remind all residents that it’s also important for crews to be able to find the property where help is needed so it would be good if all Chad readers could check their house number or name is clearly visible from the road.”

PICTURED: Keith and Linda Henson recovering from their ordeal and Glossop Avenue from the junction of Edale Road - the sign for Heanor Walk is obscured behind the parked car and the tree.