Cardiac Arrest Signs and Symptoms: Leanne woke up in the night next to her husband. What she noticed next saved his life

Eight-year-old Brody made a habit of climbing into his parents’ bed early in the morning – a habit that ultimately saved his father’s life.

Leanne Griffiths was asleep next to her husband Sam when their younger son snuck into their room on August 30, as they often do.

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But this time Brody walked in and found his dad uncontrollably fit – and yelled at his mum to wake up.

Leanne was then able to resuscitate her husband, who had gone into cardiac arrest while he was sleeping.

Sam now credits his life to the immediate actions of his wife, who trained in CPR while working as a medical receptionist, and little Brody.

Leanne Griffiths and husband Sam. Credit: Leanne Griffiths/SWNS

The drama unfolded after Brody walked into his parents’ room around 5:30 a.m. – which he often did – and noticed that his father was not well.

Leanne woke up to her son shaking her aggressively.

Brody yelled, ‘What’s wrong with daddy?’ and when Leanne looked over at Sam he was pale, his fists clenched and he passed uncontrollably.

With training received while working as a receptionist at a medical center, Leanne managed to keep Sam’s heart pumping for 15 minutes while waiting for paramedics to reach her UK home.

“If you wake up in the middle of the night and your husband isn’t breathing, you feel an enormous panic,” said Leanne, from the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham.

“I called (emergency) and they immediately directed me to start compressions, which I would have had no idea how to do without my training at work.

“Before, I didn’t realize how important CPR really is, and I now believe that everyone should receive basic training early in life.”

Leanne, Sam and their two sons. Credit: Leanne Griffiths/SWNS

Leanne and Sam, both 33, were asleep on August 30 when Brody climbed into her bed around 5:30 a.m.

After the eight-year-old urgently woke his mother, she rolled Sam onto his side and called 911.

They instructed her to perform CPR until paramedics could arrive — a drive of about 15 minutes.

Leanne cleared Sam’s airway and performed 30 compressions per minute to keep her husband alive.

Minutes felt like hours as she struggled to save him.

“Sheer Panic”

When the ambulance arrived, Leanne said Brody was there to answer the front door.

“If Brody hadn’t come this morning, Sam wouldn’t be with us today,” Leanne said.

“He woke me up in sheer panic, and when I saw Sam lying there shaking, I did the same.

“But I managed to keep my head and called (emergency) who sent an ambulance.

“He was vomiting profusely and had no pulse, and I had to keep his airway open while I gave the standard 30 compressions per minute.

“Luckily I had an education from work, but if I didn’t I really don’t know what I would have done.”

Sam is recovering in the hospital. Credit: Leanne Griffiths/SWNS

Leanne says Sam didn’t respond until the ambulance arrived.

“I was convinced that we had lost him,” she said.

“Brody watched the whole thing unfold.

“But when paramedics arrived, he remained calm enough to sprint downstairs and open the front door.

“This allowed me to continue with the compressions, which ultimately saved his life.”

The paramedics took over and used a defibrillator to restart Sam’s heart.

It took two charges to revive him, after which Leanne and Brody burst into tears of relief.


Sam was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a condition that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast.

He underwent seven hours of surgery to treat the rhythm problem and was discharged from the hospital a week later.

The father of two, who has now returned to work, says he owes his life to his wife and younger son.

“I don’t remember much – just Leanne screaming and the paramedics around me,” said Sam, who works as a general agent at a steel mill.

“When I came to, I had a tube down my throat to clear congestion, which I immediately spat out.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones and then being rushed into surgery to have a cardiac ablation.

“Thankfully I persevered and I owe my life to the brave actions of my wife and son.

“I’m having trouble sleeping now because I’m getting flashbacks of what happened and right now I can’t do the things I used to do.

“But the main thing is I’m still here and just taking each day as it comes.

“I couldn’t be more grateful.”

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Suits footage shows Meghan Markle curtseying. Cardiac Arrest Signs and Symptoms: Leanne woke up in the night next to her husband. What she noticed next saved his life

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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