CAMBS: Tattoo was real life saver for asthma sufferer

A WOMAN who almost died from a severe asthma attack in an Ely supermarket says it was the tattoo on her wrist that saved her life.

Michelle Bryant was taken ill at the Tesco store - and when staff saw her tattoo that bears the MedicAlert logo and the word asthma, they immediately called for paramedics and an ambulance.

“I could not speak because my airways were closed, but I showed staff my tattoo and my inhaler,” said 34-year-old Michelle of Littleport, who spent four days in intensive care after the incident.

“I had almost stopped breathing by the time the paramedics arrived. Without my tattoo, I do not think I would be alive today. I could not tell anyone what was happening, but the tattoo showed the staff what the problem was, I didn’t have to say a word.

“I would like to thank the Tesco staff for all they did to help; and I also want to pay tribute to Steve Tucker and Aaron Clapham at Two 19 Tattoos in Ely, Steve helped design the tattoo, and Aaron created it.

“The tattoo cost me �40, it was the best �40 I have ever spent because it saved my life. The nurses and doctors at hospital said they thought the tattoo was a brilliant idea.

“I had the idea of having a tattoo done after losing my Medic Alert bracelet.”

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The fight for Michelle’s life began on December 8, when an attack started as she stood at the supermarket’s self service tills.

Michelle explained: “The attack came out of the blue, so I did not get time to react. It was my third big attack in 10 days and it was very frightening.

“I went to the customer service desk, and showed them the tattoo and my inhaler. One of their first aiders is my friend Alex Potts, and another members of staff called Natalie also helped.

“My breathing had almost come to a standstill; I could not call an ambulance myself because I could not speak. They sat me on a chair and we waited for the paramedics, and then an ambulance.”

Michelle said: “I have been told that I stopped breathing; I was rushed to A and E and spent four days in intensive care. Apparently, staff at A and E told intensive care not to expect me to pull through, I was very poorly.”

Michelle, who has two children and two step-children, suffers from a hereditary type of asthma which started in 2006.

She added: “We had a lovely Christmas, and with the help of my partner and carer Matthew George, I am recovering slowly.”