A mum is saying thank you by launching a campaign after her life was saved last Christmas by the North West Air Ambulance Charity during a festive family outing.

The dramatic rescue unfolded last year as Nicola, 38, and her family were enjoying a Christmas light switch-on event.

Nicola collapsed while she was putting her daughter, Emily, into the car seat.

She had become unresponsive and stopped breathing.

Nicola's husband, Ben, began performing CPR, and within minutes, members of the public offered their help. When paramedics arrived, they used a defibrillator to try and restart her heart.

Critical care paramedics, Mikey and Lee from the North West Air Ambulance Charity, saw the emergency call for a 38-year-old female in cardiac arrest and sprang into action.

The pair were on the scene within 20 minutes.

A further shock was administered to Nicola, who had an 'extremely rare heart rhythm'. Her heart briefly restarted before suffering another cardiac arrest. 

Nicola required a further shock but after a brief round of CPR, her heart was beating once again.

Accompanying Nicola to the hospital, the Charity’s critical care paramedics were able to give her drugs to sedate her and protect her brain function. 

Without their lifesaving intervention, Nicola wouldn’t have survived.

In hospital, Nicola was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), and was able to make it home for Christmas.

Nicola said: "There never seem to be enough words or the right words to thank Mikey and Lee; they are heroes to us, and I'm sure to countless other families.

“If it weren’t for Mikey and Lee, there’s a very high possibility that I wouldn’t be here now, I wouldn’t be able to watch Emily grow up, and she wouldn’t have a mum.”

Her husband Ben added: "When Mikey and Lee arrived at the scene, although it was obvious how critical the situation was, I had a feeling of reassurance from them that was a relief from the absolute panic I was feeling.

"Because of them, Nicola is still here with me and Emily."

To thank the charity, Nicola is launching its 'Message in a Bauble' Christmas campaign.

The campaign gives everyone in the North West a chance to say thank you and pass on festive messages to crew members, who will be working as usual over the Christmas period.

In 2022 they were called to over 260 incidents during the Christmas period, 31 of which were cardiac arrests.

10 of the 260 incidents took place in Cumbria.

And since the beginning of 2023, the North West Air Ambulance Charity has been called to over 150 incidents in Cumbria alone.

Nicola, along with her family, recently visited Mikey and Lee at the Charity’s air base to say thank you.