A DEPUTY headteacher has thanked paramedics who saved her life after she suffered a heart attack while out jogging.

Claire Holgate, 35, who has worked at Lowerhouse Primary School for seven years, collapsed at her home in Worsthorne on Sunday, July 8.

During the incident, Claire’s heart stopped several times and she was saved by the prompt actions of her police officer husband Stephen, who gave her CPR on the kitchen floor of their home.

Claire was later stabilised by a team of paramedics from Burnley, who used defibrillator equipment on her before the Air Ambulance arrived to fly her to the cardiothoracic centre in Blackpool.

Since the incident, she has made a full recovery.

Yesterday, a week after returning to her teaching job, Claire, along with Stephen and her two sons, four-year-old Luke and James, one, visited Burnley Ambulance Station in Trafalgar Street to personally thank the staff.

She said: “I regularly ran about 15 miles a week and had jogged over to Stephen’s parents in Cliviger.

“On the way back I felt pain in my arm and collapsed soon after getting home. It was so lucky Stephen was there.

“Words can’t describe how thankful I am to my husband, the paramedics and the hospital staff.

“These guys saved my life.

“They have given me the chance to see my two beautiful little boys grow up, that’s the biggest gift I can imagine.”

Stephen, 37, said he had been given first aid training during his time with Lancashire police.

“I’ve been in the force for 16 years but it’s the first time I’ve used resuscitation techniques.” he said.

“There wasn’t time to think about it, I just started CPR on Claire and did my best. It was only afterwards that the enormity of it sank in.

“I would encourage everyone to learn first aid, you never know when you will need it.”

Such was the impact of the drama, Claire was recently contacted by Luke’s nursery, who told her he had been showing the other children CPR techniques.

Luke also brought a self-made card to thank the staff, it read simply “Thank you for saving mummy’s life”.

Paramedic Paul Allonby, Ian Mullineaux and Sharon Tyldesley were the team who attended to Claire.

Paul said: “The nature of our involvement in cases like cardiac arrest means after a patient is taken to hospital it is the end of the line for us.

“It is therefore such a great pleasure to see Claire here, making such a fantastic recovery.”