A MUM-OF-FOUR was saved by strangers when her heart stopped while she was in the cinema with her children.

Caroline Kimberling, 36, went into cardiac arrest while she was watching the trailers before the children's film The House of Magic, with her sons Zach, ten, and Ben, 7.

Zach raised the alarm when his mum became unresponsive and he ran into the lobby of Vue cinema in Clifton Moor, drawing the attention of a nurse and physiotherapist who rushed to her aid.

Wesley Hall, a member of staff trained in First Aid, is credited with saving her life by carrying out resuscitation, then paramedics shocked Caroline's heart back into action on the cinema floor.

Caroline is now recovering at home in Upper Poppleton following nearly two weeks in York Hospital.

York Press:

Caroline with her husband Daniel and four sons, from left: Tim, 12; Zach, 10; Ben, 7; and Josh, 14.

She said: "It seems a miracle, I have been so fortunate. Not many people go through what I have been through and live, or live and are not brain damaged.

"Once I started to get well I realised how many people have helped our family right from the start."

She described Zach as a hero for raising the alarm.

Zach said: "My mum had been talking and then she just stopped. I tried nudging her but after a minute or two of doing that I went and told someone she had blacked out.

"I feel a bit proud but I'm just happy my mum is back home."

Upon her arrival at York Hospital, Caroline, a teacher at Marton-cum-Grafton Primary School, was put into a medically induced coma for 24 hours.

Her husband Dr Daniel Kimberling, a GP at Gale Farm Surgery, was called by colleagues as he had previously worked as a junior doctor at York Hospital. He said his wife had been in "as deep a coma as you could get" . Doctors warned they did not know what was going to happen, "the talk I have given before but never had myself", Daniel said.

Caroline gradually began to regain consciousness and last Thursday had an operation to have an defibrillator device implanted to shock her heart back into action should such a thing happen again.

Daniel said: "I have been overwhelmed by how well the health service has been there in our hour of need.

"I feel the people of York should be reassured about the wonderful level of care there is here. As a doctor what I have learned is how loving the nurses are, we have incredibly skilled doctors but the nurses' care has brought Caroline back from being unconscious.

"People worry about the eventualities but we are all really lucky to have a hospital in York which is able to save lives in this way.

"A&E, intensive care, and coronary care departments at York Hospital have been exemplary in their care, and church and local communities have supported our family with great love."

York Press:

Wesley Hall, the staff member at Vue, who gave First Aid until paramedics arrived


The family said the First Aid skills used by Wesley at the cinema had been crucial to Caroline's survival.

Wesley, 25, a team leader at Vue said he was pleased and relieved to have heard about her recovery. He said: "It's strange because I feel like it hasn't really sunk in. You never think that kind of thing is going to happen. I was really concerned for her and really wanted her to be alright."


FACTFILE: 'Muamba condition' believed to have caused scare

Caroline's heart stopped as it went into ventricular fibrillation - when the heart stops beating and begins to quiver.

This occurs when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops its normal rhythmic beating and quivers instead.

The 36-year-old has had no previous heart problems and experts are trying to find the cause of the condition which can be genetic or occasionally due to an extra heart beat.

It is what is believed to have happened to the footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch while playing in 2012 and was given life saving CPR.

York Press: Footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed suddenly on the pitch

Medics carry Fabrice Muamba from the pitch, following his collapse at White Hart Lane in 2012

Ventricular fibrillation is invariably fatal unless cardiopulmonary resuscitation is immediately instituted.

Patients who are given by-stander CPR immediately after suffering cardiac arrest have a much better chance of survival.