Hayley meets Christmas ‘angels’ in Bethnal Green who brought her back from the dead

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 December 2015

Hayley Rabin with paramedics Brett O'Keeffe and Stefan Hopfenzitz

Hayley Rabin with paramedics Brett O'Keeffe and Stefan Hopfenzitz


Hayley Rabin had a special Christmas present this week—meeting the “angels” who brought her back to life.

Her “angels” are two paramedics traced by the East London Advertiser to Poplar ambulance station who revived her when her heart stopped.

A happy reunon for Hayley with the two east London paramedics who saved her life in the ambulanceA happy reunon for Hayley with the two east London paramedics who saved her life in the ambulance

The 49-year-old former ChildLine volunteer had collapsed at her home on Bethnal Green’s high-rise Cranbrook Estate and technically died in the ambulance on her way to the Royal London Hospital.

But she was saved by ambulance crewmates Stefan Hopfenzitz and Brett O’Keeffe who managed to restart her heart.

“I would not be seeing this Christmas or New Year but for these two paramedics,” Hayley told the Advertiser last night.

“These were my Christmas angels who brought me back to life.”

Hayley thanks her 'angels' Brett and Stefan with champagneHayley thanks her 'angels' Brett and Stefan with champagne

The paper arranged for Stefan and Brett to drop in to Hayley’s flat in the 20-storey Offenbach House off the Roman Road.

She had special Christmas gifts waiting for them, a box of Heroes and bottle of champagne each—and a big hug.

She also handed them personal Christmas cards with her own inscription:

“You were a true angel that night, a true hero. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here today telling the story of the night I died.”

Hayley was struck down by pain in September and had to be rushed to hospital, but made a full recovery in just two days.

She then set about trying to find the paramedics who brought he back to life and contacted her local newspaper, which told her story a week later.

“There was no life flashing in front of me,” Hayley recalled at the time. “It was just a blank canvas—you see nothing when you’re dead.”

It was her carer and lifelong friend Jerry Crawley in the ambulance with her who spotted Hayley’s eyes roll back, her lips turn blue. He alerted the two paramedics.

Hayley had no idea she had technically ‘died’ until she was given her discharge paper two days later.

Now the grandmother-of-three is having the best Christmas of her life, being able to see family and friends—thanks to her ‘angel’ heroes.

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