Grantham

Woman reunited with crew who saved her life after brain haemorrhage

A woman was reunited with the ambulance crew who saved her life when she suffered a brain haemorrhage while on a caravanning holiday with her husband in Grantham.

Grandmother-of-two Julie Howiss, 72, from Sutton-In-Ashfield experienced an “explosive headache” and blindness when she got out of bed on the morning of October 10, 2018, before she began vomiting and lost consciousness.

Unknown to her at the time, this had been caused by a brain aneurysm which had haemorrhaged. Julie said to her husband of 50 years John, who witnessed her collapse to the floor, that he needed to get her some help.

Julie was rushed to Grantham District Hospital to have a CT scan on her brain, which confirmed what the ambulance crew – Callum Lamb, emergency care assistant based at Mablethorpe, and Claire Snowden, paramedic based at Sleaford – had feared of a bleed to the brain.

Julie Howiss and her husband of 50 years John. Photo: EMAS

After the CT scan, Callum and Claire transported Julie over to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where she underwent a procedure called endovascular coiling.

This is where a thin tube is inserted into an artery in the leg or groin and then guided through the network of blood vessels, up into Julie’s head and finally into the aneurysm. Tiny platinum coils are then passed through the tube into the aneurysm to seal it off from the main artery, which prevents it growing or re-rupturing.

Julie was reunited with the duo, who helped save her life, on Wednesday, July 31.

The heroic ambulance crew – Callum Lamb and Claire Snowden. Photo: EMAS

Recalling the day of the medical emergency Julie, who is now on her way to making a full recovery, said: “Leading up to my incident I had not experienced any symptoms that would have suggested I had a bleed on the brain.

“I felt my vision was going and that I had a pain in my head. I then called out to my husband to get help as I knew I need it urgently.”

Husband John, who said both Callum and Claire were wonderful with Julie, added: “Julie was in hospital for a month while she recovered and when she was finally allowed to come back home to me she recovered very quickly. Thankfully she has now fully recovered and we are now both enjoying life to the full.”

Around 60% of patients who present with a bleed on the brain as a result of a brain aneurysm sadly die within two weeks of the episode occurring.

Paramedic Claire said: “If anyone shows the symptoms of a bleed on the brain then it is crucial they ring 999. If Julie had of been on her own and couldn’t have rang an ambulance herself then the bleed on her brain would have increased. This could have been life-threatening.”