Mum ‘owes her life’ to paramedics after collapsing at gym

Vicky Tallentire, from Edinburgh, became unwell while working out on a treadmill last November.

Recovery: Vicky Tallentire with her husband, Mike, and son, Wilson. Scottish Ambulance Service
Recovery: Vicky Tallentire with her husband, Mike, and son, Wilson.

A mum has said she owes her life to the Scottish Ambulance Service after collapsing at the gym.

Vicky Tallentire, of Corstorphine in Edinburgh, became unwell while working out on a treadmill last November.

Ms Tallentire, who was suffering from a rare disorder in which anaphylaxis occurs after physical activity, collapsed in the bathroom and became unresponsive.

Her husband, Mike, called 999.

Ms Tallentire said: “My husband, an ICU consultant, thought I was going to [cardiac] arrest.  I was in a small toilet area of the gym, making logistical issues even more challenging.”

Ms Tallentire, a medical consultant at Western General Hospital, was taken to the city’s royal infirmary by ambulance crew Mark Ferrier and Alex Vesco.

She said: “The crew were everything I could have asked for – efficient, effective and kind, all at the same time.  

“I didn’t care much about kind words; I knew I needed adrenaline and fluids and hospital.  

“But whenever I was conscious I felt a sense of control by the crew; I heard specific and effective communication, I heard rapid decision-making under pressure and I knew I was in safe hands.

“I have only ever been in an ambulance transferring patients between hospitals, never as a patient myself.

 “I know I owe my life to that crew – being at the front line is tough.  I know, I live it.  But just occasionally you do get to make a real difference to someone’s life.”

Accompanied by her son Wilson, Ms Tallentire recently met up with Mr Vesco just before Christmas. She also ran into Mr Ferrier earlier this month while at work.

On meeting Ms Tallentire again, Mr Vesco said: “It was a real unique experience to meet a patient after the event, it’s not something we commonly get to do, and quite often we don’t get to find out how are patients are after we take them into the emergency department, so this has been really good to have an informal debrief, and ask each other questions, so it was really nice to meet up.”

Ms Tallentire has since made a full recovery.

She added: “I really can’t express how grateful I am to both of the crew involved, and also the amazing team at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am so immensely grateful to everyone involved.”


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?