Papatoetoe resident Nicky Ikenasio suddenly felt pain across her chest and down her arms as she prepared for work one Friday morning in early October. Nicky rang her boss to tell him she wasn’t feeling well and would be in later, but during the call she began to hyperventilate.
One of the office staff went to Nicky’s house, finding her on the bed in a distressed state. St John was called with paramedic Tim Cox and emergency medical technicians Rebecca Brown and Michael Johnson responding.
An assessment was done which included IV insertion, blood pressure check and pain reliever, all the while Nicky was alert and conscious but feeling uncomfortable.
“After talking to Nicky we were thinking it could be stress related because her symptoms didn’t completely match that of someone having major cardiac related chest pain,” Rebecca explained.
It was only when the patient was being assisted out to the ambulance by St John staff that Nicky collapsed on the kitchen floor and became unconscious with her eyes rolling back.
The St John crew remembered their training for managing an incident that changes suddenly, quickly assuming different roles with Rebecca starting CPR, Michael checking airways and Tim managing medication and the monitor.
“The good thing was we had done the majority of our treatment and observations while Nicky was sitting on the bed conscious. So when she collapsed we were able to go straight to delivering a shot of adrenaline and using the defibrillator twice on her,” Tim explained.
After laying unconscious on the kitchen floor for five minutes, Nicky slowly began to regain a good output and blood pressure.
Nicky only remembers waking up on the kitchen floor, traveling in the ambulance and arriving at Middlemore Hospital.
With no previous cardiac history, she was fitted with a small defibrillator and had a two week hospital stay while she recovered.
Nicky visited the Manukau St John station to thank and meet the attending St John crew who saved her that day. The mother of two and grandmother of three never expected to need St John but revealed the incident has given her a different outlook on life.
“My kids wouldn’t have a mother and my grandkids wouldn’t have a grandmother if it wasn’t for the help of St John. These three saved my life, it’s as simple as that, I’m very grateful,” Nicky said.
Stadium Stomp's comments: With no previous cardiac history this story could have happened to anyone. St John are there for all of us in an emergency. Now's your time to be there for them. Find it in yourself to either donate or fundraise as part of your Stadium Stomp at Eden Park experience. With St John as the official Charity Partner this is your chance to make every step count.
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