Heart attack victim June Dennis wants to thank the Rockhampton emergency team who saved her life.
Heart attack victim June Dennis wants to thank the Rockhampton emergency team who saved her life. Allan Reinikka

Paramedics, drug save June's life

JUNE Dennis says she owes her life to a team of Rockhampton paramedics.

And she wonders if she would have survived had she had her massive heart attack elsewhere.

The former Emu Park resident and her husband, Mick, left Nanango, south of Kingaroy, early for their annual summer trip to Rockhampton after June had a small heart attack three weeks ago.

She was told two arteries were slightly blocked due to cholesterol, but otherwise she was healthy.

Three weeks later, on September 10, she was at the beach in Yeppoon with the family for lunch when she started to experience chest pain.

“I just thought it was pain from a tight bra but then I started getting extreme back pain so we decided to head back to the caravan park where we're staying,” June said.

June had all the symptoms of a severe heart attack.

“I tried to lie down, and at first I didn't think it was an attack until my husband called 000 and told them 'my wife is having a heart attack' ”.

By this stage, June's pain was so severe that she was in no condition to talk.

June said while her husband was on the phone speaking with emergency crews, an ambulance arrived.

“I can't thank them enough for saving my life and being there by my side the whole time,” she said.

June said if they were still in Nanango, she might not have got to the Kingaroy hospital in time.

The mother of two was flown to Brisbane for surgery the day after her attack.

Rockhampton Intensive Care Paramedic Chrissy Crow, who was called to the job to back up the emergency crew, said June had all the symptoms of Acute Myocardial Infarction - where blood vessels in the heart are blocked by a clot.

Ms Crow gave June a clot dissolving life-saving drug called Tenecteplase which has only been available as a pre-hospital drug since 2008.

“Before this drug was available (pre-hospital) a lot of patients like June would have a cardiac arrest inside their home or on the way to the hospital,” she said.

“It is a time-critical treatment for people having a heart attack due to blockage.”

June's father died of a severe heart attack at age 50.

“The life-saving drug wasn't available outside of the hospital back in those days,” June said.

LIFE SAVING DRUG

• Tenecteplase - A specific blood clot dissolving drug;

• The drug came into place pre-hospital in February 08 and a day later a Rocky man was the first in the State to receive it;

• It is a life-saving drug for patients having heart attacks where blood clots are blocking blood flow to the arteries.


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