Office worker who spent two days in a coma after collapsing at Stevenage’s MBDA ‘thankful to be alive’ after colleagues and Herts Air Ambulance crew save her life

Nikki Duffy with criticial care unit staff at Queen's Hospital just over a week after she collapsed

Nikki Duffy with criticial care unit staff at Queen's Hospital just over a week after she collapsed while working at MBDA in Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

An office worker at a Stevenage missiles and defence company has thanked her colleagues and air ambulance paramedics for saving her life after her heart stopped beating while she was at work.

Nikki Duffy being flown to Queen's Hospital in Romford by the Herts Air Ambulance. Picture Dayle Cla

Nikki Duffy being flown to Queen's Hospital in Romford by the Herts Air Ambulance. Picture Dayle Clarke - Credit: Archant

Nikki Duffy says she ‘feels blessed’ to be alive after going into cardiac arrest without warning while at her desk at Six Hills Way-based MBDA.

Two first aid trained colleagues leapt into action, using CPR and a defibrillator to keep the 47-year-old commercial executive alive.

The pair were joined by paramedics from Herts Air Ambulance, who took over before flying her to the critical care unit at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex.

After two days in a coma, Nikki is now on the road to recovery – although she is soon to be moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London for further tests.

The Herts Air Ambulance lands in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, after Nikki Duffy collapsed at work. Pict

The Herts Air Ambulance lands in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, after Nikki Duffy collapsed at work. Picture: James Randall - Credit: Archant

“I was incredibly fortunate that my company has trained first aiders, who were with me within seconds and were able to administer CPR and use a defibrillator to bring me back to life,” said Nikki, who was worked for the company for 29 years.

“The air ambulance was there within minutes and also saved my life. It is true to say that without the first aiders and the air ambulance team I would not be here, helping staff at the CCU department – who have also provided fantastic care – to decorate their Christmas tree.”

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After hearing about the events of last week, Nikki’s friends have been making donations to support the work of Herts Air Ambulance instead of sending Christmas cards.

“I am still undergoing tests to find out what happened that day, but hope to be home in time for Christmas,” said Nikki, who lives in the small village of Rushden with her husband Brian, who runs Halls Green-based design and print business Graphix.

“Thanks also to all my terrific friends, family and colleagues who have given me such support in the last week. I am truly blessed.

“I feel scared, amazed, relieved, thankful – all of those emotions. As only five per cent of cardiac arrests outside of hospital make it, I feel very, very thankful.

“I don’t think it was my time to go. Most of the team had been down at Prezzo, but I had a meeting so I stayed back in the office! Life is so precious and it can be taken away from you at a moments notice, so you really do have to enjoy every day.”

Stuart Elms, clinical director for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Nikki is doing so well after a cardiac arrest – her recovery is testament to her colleagues having had CPR training and being able to treat Nikki quickly, as well as the expert care given to her by our pre-hospital care doctor and paramedic working together with the East of England Ambulance Service.

“We encourage everyone to take CPR training, as it saves lives! A big thank you to Nikki’s friends and family who have been making donations to our Charity – it is all very much appreciated.”

To make a donation visit www.hertsairambulance.uk.com.

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