A MIRACLE dad from Hereford survived after “dropping dead” in front of his children when his heart stopped for 17 minutes in the car.
Daniel Turner, 28, was singing and dancing in the car on the way home from a christening with his partner Elishia Paxton, 25, and their two children when he suddenly “went floppy” on August 14.
A friend who had been driving quickly pulled over the car in the village of Bartestree – five minutes away from their Hereford home – as his partner screamed at him to come back.
Incredibly, an off-duty police officer happened to pass by and knew a paramedic who lived three doors down.
He began performing CPR in front of Daniel’s horrified partner and kids before the medic arrived to take over and an ambulance was called to the scene.
Paramedics managed to restart Daniel’s heart using a defibrillator before he was taken to Hereford County Hospital where be began breathing again.
Roofer Daniel was placed in a medically induced coma to protect his brain and the rest of his body which he awoke from by himself 20 hours later, but still can’t remember what happened.
He was transferred to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Friday (August 20) where he is currently undergoing tests to determine what caused the cardiac arrest.
Elishia has since spoken of her horror at watching her “fit and healthy” partner flat-line in front of her and their two sons Albie, two, and Oliver, five.
Elishia, a carer, said: “I just can’t believe what has happened. It was so frightening what happened in the car.
“To hold someone you love dead in your arms and then to see them awake again is a lot to cope with.
“We had been to a christening in Tewkesbury where I was god mother and we’d had a lovely day.
“Although Daniel had been sweating a bit, we just put it down to him running around after the children on the bouncy castle but we know now it was a symptom.
“A friend picked us up at 9.30pm and we were all singing and dancing in the car when all of a sudden he went floppy and then just dropped dead instantly.
“It was like living in a nightmare, no words can describe watching what happened unfold.
“My friend pulled over and we got him out the car and I started doing CPR on him.”
She said it was lucky an off-duty police officer knew of a paramedic who lived nearby – and he was at home. The officer and then the paramedic continued CPR.
“At this point passers-by were shielding the car so the children couldn’t see what was going on,” she added.
“It was complete and utter luck that a policeman and an off-duty paramedic were nearby.
“I sat there with his head in my hands screaming at him to come back. I was just saying ‘come on Dan, come on Dan’.
“The ambulance arrived 11 minutes later and watching someone being defibrillated is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life.
“He still didn’t have a heartbeat. He had to be defibrillated four times before they got a heartbeat from him.
“He was dead for 17 minutes and came back to life.
“It was like somebody was watching down on Daniel and our family.
“We are really lucky – especially because he wasn’t at work too, imagine if he’d been up on a roof.
“Because he was a roofer, he’s always been fit and healthy. There’s no family history of this either – especially at the age of 28.”
Daniel will undergo an operation in Birmingham today (Thurs) to have a transvenous S-ICD implantable defibrillator inserted into his body.
Elishia added: “The doctors have described to me that he has an electrical circuit fault, but they will explain more about that soon and they still don’t know what caused it.
“Only three weeks ago he had a pre-op assessment because he was due an operation on his wrist in the next couple of months. They picked nothing up.
“He’s done amazingly though so far. When they placed him in the induced coma, he woke himself up after 20 hours.
“They tried to give more sedation but he was just so strong and continued to wake up so they removed the tubes and turned of machines and he started breathing by himself.”
Elishia said she visited Daniel nearly every day while he was in Hereford hospital, but couldn’t because of coronavirus restrictions at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Daniel can’t remember anything – the only thing he remembers is sitting in the church on the day of the christening,” she said.
“His long-term memory has been unaffected – something we are very grateful for.
“Because he had short-term memory loss, I had to tell Daniel what had happened to him and he is a bit numb and emotional at the moment.
“We don’t know how long it will be until he can return to work. We’re just grateful and thankful that he is still here.
“We’re lucky he is going to be able to teach his boy to ride a bike and see his first day at school.”