Celebrating the festive season
Heart attack victim is home for Christmas
A Cambuslang woman who woke from a coma on Christmas Day has been able to spend this festive season with her loved ones.
Samantha Bell (32) suffered a heart attack during a routine check-up at the Golden Jubilee Hospital just days before December 25 last year.
Staff at the hospital rushed to her aid but she stayed in a coma until Christmas Day.
Her family, including boyfriend Lee Foley (33), went through an agonising wait by her bedside before she woke up
Samantha then spent two months in the hospital recovering from her ordeal.
But her family helped her get over the disappointment of missing out on Christmas by helping her celebrate it in February.
Looking back on her ordeal, Samantha said: “I didn’t know where I was when I woke up in intensive care and had no memory of the whole week before but I recognised my boyfriend Lee as soon as I opened my eyes and he told me it was Christmas Day.
“It was a strange experience but my two best friends did visit me and I don’t usually see them on Christmas Day. It sounds cheesy but my friends and family all said it was their best Christmas present because I was awake and able to talk to them.
“It was a difficult time for my family, who decided to celebrate Christmas with me in February when I was home from hospital.
“It was really nice to be able to have a proper Christmas as it is meant to be spent, with loved ones.
“We decorated a tree, had Christmas dinner and opened presents. It was a lovely thing to do since Christmas had been such a hard time for everyone.
“This year I’ve been really looking forward to Christmas. Lee and I have put up the Christmas tree and wrapped presents, which we were unable to do together last year.”
Samantha, who stays in Beech Crescent, suffers from cardiomyopathy, a condition which affects the heart muscles.
She had been attending the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service ( SNAHFS) at the Golden Jubilee for 10 years before receiving a heart transplant in 2011.
Ever since her heart attack Samantha has been back for regular check-ups and hopes to return to her job as a relationship manager with Santander in 2016.
And she was full of praise for the staff at the hospital who saved her life: “A lot of people don’t make it after a cardiac arrest so I have been incredibly lucky and everybody at the Golden Jubilee has been great this year.
“Without the unconditional support of my boyfriend Lee and the staff at SNAHFS I wouldn’t have made as much progress.
“I have started to notice a real difference in my health since my last visit to the Golden Jubilee and by the beginning of next year I hope to be back at work.
“I currently go to a clinic at the hospital every two weeks but soon I hope to be at the stage where I only need to visit once every six months.”
Mike Higgins, medical director at the Golden Jubilee, said: “We are a centre of excellence in heart disease and, although she has had a difficult year, I am glad to hear Samantha is making good progress.
“It is great to hear she was able to spend Christmas at home this year.”
Home for Christmas Samantha Bell and boyfriend Lee Foley