Husband Who ‘Died’ For 68 Minutes After His Heart Stopped Owes His Life To His WIFE

Chris Hickey
Chris Hickey
Chris Hickey

A husband who ‘died’ for 68 minutes after his heart stopped owes his life to his WIFE – who begged medics to try “one more time”.

Sue Davies, 62, was told her husband was dead – but asked doctors to give him one more chance.

She had been making a cup of tea when she heard “strange noises” and found hubby Chris Hickey, 63, collapsed in the bedroom.

Having read a magazine about emergency response just the night before, she knew to ring 999 immediately and under their instruction opened the door and began CPR.

She battled to save his life in the vital five minutes before the emergency services arrived and took over.

But after 55 minutes an on-call doctor told Sue her husband of 38 years had died and nothing more could be done for him.

The distraught mum-of-one begged them to try one more time – and 13 minutes later they brought back a pulse.

The medics used a defibrillator TWELVE times on Chris in a bid to shock his heart back to life.

Miraculously Chris he has made a full recovery with no brain damage, despite more than an hour ‘dead’ and two days in an induced coma.

The HR boss said he owes his life to dozens of people – but most importantly his wife.

He said: “All in all there must be around 50 people who helped save my life, but right at the top of the pyramid is my wife.

“It’s totally awe inspiring. What more can you do for someone, than what she did?

“It’s impossible to express my love and gratitude in words.

“Normally they say you do resuscitation for 15 to 20 minutes and three defibrillation attempts. I was 68 minutes and 12 different shocks.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Sue – absolutely no doubt.”

Humble Sue added: “There’s no magic to it – you just have to do it. The important thing is that it starts straight away.”

Chris can’t remember the three days before or after his heart stopped on June 16 at home in Cheltenham Glos.

His wife was down in the kitchen when he collapsed upstairs after getting out of bed.

It is now thought he suffered as “sudden adult death”- which happens to 10,000 people a year in the UK with only eight per cent surviving.

Sue, a business coach, had read an article in a magazine the night before about what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

It recommended immediately phoning 999 – so she made the call, opened the front door and began CPR.

“She followed the instructions from the person on the phone,” said Chris.

“She did not have any experience or knowledge about what to do.”

The fire service arrived in a matter of minutes, followed by the paramedics, a doctor and the air ambulance.

Chris was so unresponsive after 55 minutes that the doctor told Sue that he had died and there was nothing more could be done for him.

“They said it was not looking good and we’re going to stop but she said ‘please, please, please’ and that she loved me and they kept going.”

His heart finally started again 13 minutes later and was flown by air ambulance to Bristol Royal Infirmary where he was cooled and put in an induced coma.

His family gathered at his bedside in case it was their last chance to say goodbye. – unsure about whether he would come round or have brain damage.

But after two weeks in hospital he was discharged and is now back at work.

He has had an ICD – a portable defibrilator – installed in case his heart stops again and he remains on beta blockers to slow his heart rate down.

Now Chris – who had no previous history of heart problems – wants to raise awareness of what to do when someone has a cardiac arrest.

“I should be dead, there’s no question about it,” he said. “There’s no medical reason why I should be here.”

“People really need to know about CPR.

“When you dial 999 the paramedics will tell you what to do. Don’t be dissuaded from doing it because you don’t know how – 999 operators will how how to talk people through it.

“These things happen to people. It’s just as likely to happen to me so anybody else.

“That was my philosophy before and it still is now. I don’t have a problem with the fact that this random act should have killed me.”


Sue has nothing but praise for the 999 call handlers who helped her to save her husband’s life.

She said: “They were just so clear, and I was so determined to do it..

“I had every confidence with the guy on the phone. It just couldn’t be Chris’s time.

“There’s no magic to it – you just have to do it. The important thing is that it starts straight away.”

She is still affected by the psychological and physical shock of what happened.

She said: “The shock did it when Chris started to come out of the coma.

“It was like a bomb going off in our family – Chris was the epicentre and we’re standing right next to him.

“It’s like heightened life even though you are next to death.

“You see the best of life which is loving, caring, giving, supportive, and you see the hardest bits which are death, loneliness, despair. You have to work between those.

“(The stress) is like a tidal wave – that’s what I’m dealing with now.”


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