Elishia Paxton, 25, was returning from a family day out a christening in Pendock, Hereford, with her partner Daniel Turner, 28, and their children, when tragedy suddenly struck. Ms Paxton said the family were having fun singing and dancing to music in their car when Mr Turner appeared to have “dropped down dead”. She remembered “screaming at him to wake up” while an off duty police officer stopped to help perform CPR until an ambulance arrived.
The sudden collapse was particularly scary as Mr Turner was considered to be healthy as he often went to the gym and worked as a roofer by trade.
Ms Paxton, who met her partner three years ago in Brockworth, told Gloucestershire Live: “We had been to a christening where I was asked to be godmother.
“It was a busy day with Daniel and I running around after the children playing on the bouncy castle.
“A friend had come to pick us up at 9.30pm. All of us, including Daniel, were singing and dancing in the car and then he just dropped dead instantly.
“We were literally five minutes away from home. My friend stopped the car and we ran around to get him out of the car. I started doing CPR on him.
“An off duty police officer stopped and took over the CPR but then said he knew a paramedic who lives three doors away from where we were and he went to get him.
“I am still in shock and trying to process it.
“People stopped and blocked the windows so the children could not see what was happening to Daniel.”
“I had to step away from him when they shocked him, but the panic, I was telling them not to stop and to do everything they can.
Mr Turner spent time in an intensive care unit, where he had a full-body CT scan and a brain scan.
A shadow was found on his brain – although that could have been a stroke from the resuscitation.
But he still managed to wake from the medically induced coma and has since been transferred to a hospital in Birmingham, where he is now getting treatment at a specialist electrical physician.
Ms Paxton shared her gratitude to those who helped Mr Turner during his treatment.
She said: “Daniel is a really lucky man. I have reached out and been able to speak to the officer and paramedic who helped Daniel and when he is better Daniel would like to be able to thank them for himself.
“Daniel will be having an operation in the next two days to implant a defibrillator. This is to send an electrical shock to his heart if it were to slow again in the future.
“He had been having stress tests on a running machine at the hospital and he seems to be doing well. We have had tremendous support from friends and family. I have not been on my own since this happened, and we are so thankful.”