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Paramedic Saves Asthmatic Teen Twice

DERBY, England -- A teenager who suffers from severe asthma attacks has had her life saved twice - by the same paramedic.

Kirsten Stokes had the opportunity to say "thank you" to Steve Walker when they met once again yesterday, after a reunion was organized at her home.

The 16-year-old, of Foston, was diagnosed with asthma at the age of three. In 2009, doctors confirmed she had a rare and severe form called brittle asthma.

Two years ago, Kirsten suffered respiratory arrest, which means her lungs failed, following one of her attacks. Her family called 999 and East Midlands Ambulance Service community paramedic Steve came to her aid. Kirsten spent three days in intensive care and a week in hospital.

Then, in April this year, she suffered another severe attack. Steve, 40, of Mickleover - who responded to the second call with colleague Petra Bailey - said: "It's so rare to see the same patient twice.

"I recognised Kirsten's address straight away and knew what to expect as her condition can deteriorate really quickly."

Kirsten was treated at her home, in Church Broughton Road, before being taken to the intensive care unit at the Royal Derby Hospital, where she stayed for a week.

Her mother, Sarah Payne, 34, said: "We wanted to say thank-you as we believe Steve saved Kirsten's life.

"She needed treatment really quickly and he did everything he could for her.

"When the ambulance arrived and I saw it was Steve again, I felt really reassured.

"He even visited Kirsten in the intensive care unit to make sure she was all right. We can't thank him enough really." Kirsten, a former pupil at John Port School, Etwall, said: "I don't really remember very much at all of either incident and I was nervous about meeting Steve because he remembered a lot more about me than I did about him.

"But I do know that I was lucky he came to me for a second time because he knew exactly what to do and I think I would have been a lot worse otherwise." Charity Asthma UK said that, of the 5.4 million people in the UK who have it, 79% are adults and three people die from it every day.

Sarah added: "Often people think if you've got asthma you just have to carry an inhaler and that's it - but Kirsten's condition is unpredictable. "That's why we want more people to realise that, if they see someone having an attack, they may need emergency help."

And Steve said: "It's a difficult condition to live with but Kirsten deals with it very well and her family are fantastic."

For more information about the condition, contact the charity's advice line on 0800 121 62 44 or visit www.asthma.org.uk. cvjones@derbytelegraph.co.uk

"When the ambulance arrived and I saw it was Steve again, I felt really reassured."



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