A CRITICALLY-ILL South Tyneside gran who came back from the brink of death stunned her family with her first request – the Shields Gazette.
Dorothy Wilson’s family gathered around her bedside after doctors told them she didn’t have long left due to carbon dioxide poisoning.
But once the 75-year-old’s oxygen ventilator was removed, she sat up in her South Tyneside District Hospital bed and stunned relatives by asking for her favourite paper.
Widow Mrs Wilson, of Parry Drive, Whitburn, was found unconscious by her grand-daughter, Abbie Rickelton, who lives across the road.
The mum-of-three, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, collapsed when the condition caused increased carbon dioxide retention in her lungs.
Mrs Wilson has now quit her 60-year smoking habit and, after spending a fortnight in hospital, she is back home.
She said: “I can’t really remember much of it. I was convinced I’d been kidnapped and put on a ship. But when I woke up to find everyone peering at me, I just wanted my Gazette. I’ve read it for years – I think I maybe must have been reading it as I fell unconscious and that’s the first thing I remembered.
“I’m glad I woke up in the hospital bed, and didn’t end up in a cemetery a few days later. And I am thankful I haven’t found my name on the death notice page just yet.”
Mrs Rickelton, 31, said: “It’s just incredible. All of the family was gathered around her bed. We’d all been prepared for the worst, and were told that once her oxygen mask was removed, she’d probably pass away a few moments later.
“So the nurse came in and switched the machine off. But then nana made a few noises, before sitting up and saying ‘where’s my Gazette?’.
“Needless to say, we were all stunned. It was like something out of an old-fashioned horror movie.”
Mrs Rickelton, who is mum to Gavin, three, found her grandmother had collapsed on Friday, February 22.
She added: “I visit nana every day at 11am, but at 9am that day I noticed her carer couldn’t get in, which was very strange, so I went over.
“After we finally got her spare key to open the door, we found her lying on the sofa, but we couldn’t wake her up and she was taken by ambulance to hospital.”
On arrival at the Harton Lane hospital, the gran-of-nine was placed on a BiPAP ventilator – which helps the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Over the next few hours, numerous blood tests were taken to check her oxygen levels.
But by 3pm, doctors said levels weren’t improving and Mrs Wilson’s family were told to gather relatives to say their final farewells.
Mrs Rickelton said: “The staff were all lovely. They were so genuinely sincere, we couldn’t have asked for nicer ones.
“When we’d all gathered around the bed for nana’s last moments and she woke up, the nurse ran out of the room to fetch help. I think she would have sworn from shock if she could.
“Then her doctor came back in. He jokingly told nana that she’d made a fool out of him, and he was going to check the machine to see if it was faulty. I don’t think anyone could believe what had happened. But we’re all thrilled to bits.”