(L-R) Lee Broadhurst, Pat Maltby, Sam PearceA woman from Chatham who suffered a heart attack at a phlebotomy (blood testing) clinic has returned to thank the phlebotomists who saved her life. On 2 May 2013, Pat Maltby, 70, who regularly attends the blood testing clinic at Lordswood Healthy Living Centre, suddenly collapsed. Pat explained: “I managed to walk to the lift to go up to the clinic but felt absolutely dreadful. My chest felt really tight and I couldn’t catch my breathe.

“I have previously had two heart attacks and a heart bypass but the symptoms were different this time and I didn’t realise what was happening. The last thing I remember is walking out of the lift and trying to lean on to a rail for support.” Lee Broadhurst (female) and Sam Pearce (female), who work together in the phlebotomy team at Medway Community Healthcare, came to her aid. Lee said: “I heard my name called and as I walked out of my clinic room I could see Pat lying on the floor unconscious with Sam crouched beside her. Sam then turned to me and said, ‘I can’t get a pulse’.”

Sam began Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and along with a GP from the centre they used a defibrillator to successfully revive Pat. The phlebotomists have now been nominated by Lisa Sladden, their manager, for a Recognising excellence staff award – run by Medway Community Healthcare to recognise the staff who go above and beyond to care for their patients. Lisa explained: “I am very proud of Sam and Lee. While attempting to resuscitate Pat they also made the effort to preserve her dignity as well as reassure patients who were in the clinic. They then traced Pat’s daughter to let her know her mother had been taken to hospital.”

After her attack Pat spent a month in hospital and was fitted with a pacemaker and defibrilator which will automatically restart her heart if she suffers another attack. The community cardiology team, run by Medway Community Healthcare, will continue to care for Pat.
Pat added: “After I came home from hospital I returned to the centre for a blood test and asked to see Sam and Lee. They approached me with huge smiles and we all had a big cuddle, I had a bit of a cry. It was lovely. “They brought me back to life, they were marvellous. I would like to thank all of them; if it was not for them I would not be here now.”