Schoolgirl, 12, reunited with medics who brought her back to life after she 'died' for 18 minutes

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

A 12-year-old girl and her parents have had an emotional reunion with the emergency team who helped to save her life after she suffered a cardiac arrest and was 'clinically dead' for nearly 20 minutes.

Lexi Ashwell visited Biggleswade Ambulance Station to meet the officers from Bedfordshire Police and crews from the East of England Ambulance Service and the East Anglian Air Ambulance who responded to the 999 call when her life hung in the balance.

Her mum Michelle Ashwell, 42, broke down in tears being reunited with the team.

"I cannot explain to you how I feel about the police lady because she took over from me and she didn't let my baby die," she said.

"I can't thank her enough."

Lexi spent a week in Addenbrooke's Hospital before being transferred to Great Ormond Street hospital. Credit: Family photo

Lexi was at her home in Upper Caldecote, Bedfordshire when her mum heard her scream late one evening in July before she stumbled and fell into a bedroom.

Michelle told ITV News Anglia that she soon realised it was an emergency and, while her husband Shane was on the phone to paramedics, she began CPR.

"It was petrifying," she said. "I only did what any mother would do - we worked as a team."

Michelle took it in turns to perform CPR with her eldest daughter, Allyssa, who had called her partner because his mother, Elizabeth Dobb, works as an emergency medical technician at the East of England Ambulance Service.

Lexi says she can not remember her early days of being in hospital. Credit: Family photo

"You just kind of go into work mode. I just cracked on with it basically. I had to do what I had to do" said Ms Dobbs, 44.

"When I first got on the scene Lexi was actually clinically dead. She had no heart rate. She wasn't breathing for herself."

She praised Lexi's family for their early intervention before police officers and paramedics arrived.

"They were the ones who did CPR and if it wasn't for that early CPR it could have been a different story today," she added.

Mum Michelle and her daughter Lexi. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A team of police, land and air paramedics performed a rapid general anaesthetic at the scene – a procedure usually only available in a hospital – to protect Lexi’s vital functions while she was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital.

She spent a week in Addenbrooke’s before being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where she was fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Now, Lexi hopes to return to school next month.

Michelle reunited with PC Ayesha Hussain, 28, who administered CPR. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I just want to go back to normal, I miss my friends," she said.

"I just want to say thank you. I am just happy they were all there to help me."

The family are now pushing for more people to be taught CPR - especially children in schools - and have set up an online petition.

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