‘We thought we’d lose her’ – Sunderland woman suffered heart attack, stroke and fell into coma after catching rare virus

Kyra Thompson on the specialist machine which helped save her life.
Kyra Thompson on the specialist machine which helped save her life.
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A SUNDERLAND woman who defied the odds and battled through a life-or-death fight with a rare virus has hailed the medical marvels who saved her.

Kyra Thompson’s six-week viral infection ordeal left her in a coma - with experts telling her devastated family the chances of her surviving were slim.

Kyra Thompson, pleased to be back at work after her sudden serious illness.

Kyra Thompson, pleased to be back at work after her sudden serious illness.

The 27-year-old went into cardiac arrest, suffered a stroke and saw her weight plummet during her nightmare ordeal, in which she spent ten days in a coma.

Kyra, of Thorney Close, also had to learn how to walk again and says he owes her life to Wearside and Leicester medical teams.

Her nightmare is thought to have been caused by a mix of a virus, chest infection and asthma.

• RELATED STORY: Dad of virus-battler Kyra Thompson ‘didn’t eat or sleep for four days’

Kyra Thompson, pleased to be back at work after her sudden serious illness.

Kyra Thompson, pleased to be back at work after her sudden serious illness.

She said : “I wouldn’t be here without the hospital teams which saved me.”

“It all started when she was “at work and I just thought I was coming down with a chest infection. I thought ‘I need to go home’. I said to my mum ‘get me an ambulance’. I knew I didn’t feel right.”

“They rushed me to A&E and my oxygen blood levels were 82 per cent. They should be 95 per cent or above.”

Kyra was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where, the next morning, her lips turned blue and she arrested and had a seizure at the same time.

Best of Health awards 2015 - Some of the Critical Care team at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Best of Health awards 2015 - Some of the Critical Care team at Sunderland Royal Hospital

The Sunderland Care and Support worker was put in an induced coma. Doctors, meanwhile, told her family there was a 15 per cent survival rate.

Her ordeal still wasn’t over. She also suffered a stroke.

Her brain began to swell and the Sunderland Intensive Cardiac-Care Unit (ICCU) battled to save her life. Doctors even had to do tests after fearing at one point that she had suffered a bleed on the brain.

Kyra was then transferred by ambulance to the specialist Glenfield Hospital in Leicester where an Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine cleaned toxic gases from her lungs and re-oxygenated her blood supply.

Kyra spent five days in hospital in Sunderland, eight in Leicester and then returned to the North-East during a drama in which she lost a stone in weight, plummeting to eight and a half stones.

He battle included ten days in a coma but finally, she began to pull round as the ECMO machine did its work.

Doctors realised she was battling back when they noticed she had pulled one of the tubes in her body, out of her nose

As Kyra recovered, she spent five days re-learning how to walk again.

Six weeks after the whole nightmare started, in August last year, Kyra was back at work although she still needs tests and has to attend a chest clinic.

She added: “When people talk about it, I don’t feel like it has happened to me.

“It was quite distressing for my family and I am just happy to be here. The medical teams which came to my aid are absolutely fantastic. I would not be here without them. They deserve a medal.”

Kyra’s grateful family have nominated the Sunderland ICCU unit for an Echo Best of Health award.

Their nomination read: “As a family we cannot speak more highly of them, or never be able to thank them for never giving up on Kyra.”

Dave McNicholas, unit manager of the ICCU, said: “I am delighted at the nomination. I have a wonderful team of people who work tirelessly to provide high quality care. They are extremely dedicated and deserving of the nomination.”

• RELATED STORY: Dad of virus-battler Kyra Thompson ‘didn’t eat or sleep for four days’

• A charity night is being planned by Kyra as her way of saying thank you to the units in Sunderland and Leicester.

It is on March 27 at Farringdon Club. Tickets are £3. Visit the Facebook page here.

• Click here to put forward a nomination in the Best of Health awards