Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Pestering puppy saved my life after heart attack

Pamela Spence and her dog Beau (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)
Pamela Spence and her dog Beau (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

Although she didn’t realise it, she was having a massive heart attack.

And she’s only alive today because her new puppy Beau kept jumping on her, refusing to give her peace.

Dragging herself up to get him away, she called for help and an emergency operation saved her life.

Now, on the second anniversary of the day she nearly died, she’s backing the British Heart Foundation’s new Wear It Beat It fundraiser as part of February’s Heart Month.

The BHF is trying to raise awareness of the dangers posed by a family history of heart disease.

Pamela, who lives in Neilston, East Renfrewshire, saw her dad die young from a heart attack.

“He was just 54 and it came out of the blue,” said Pamela, 34.

“My sister Gillian and I were at his house and he was feeling unwell. Suddenly, he just collapsed.

“My sister called 999 and I tried to give him CPR but despite that and the best efforts of the paramedics there was nothing that could be done.

“He had seemed so fit and healthy and it was such an awful shock.”

Beau (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)
Beau (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

It will be 10 years in March since Pamela lost her dad, and he was just one member of the family with problems.

Her uncle had a heart attack and both grandparents had heart trouble.

“My dad’s dad had angina and I heard that my mum’s dad had a heart attack and actually died four times on the operating table,” said Pamela, who was a nursing student at the time she was struck down on February 6, 2014.

“It obviously concerns you, but because everything had been on the male side of the family I honestly never thought it would happen to me.

“And certainly not so young.”

Pamela woke up in the early hours of the morning with chest pains and was seen at hospital after calling NHS 24.

But she was told it was flu and given paracetamol which eased the pain. After going to bed that night, though, the pain became so bad that she sought comfort on the cool, tiled kitchen floor.

“Beau was just a puppy and he kept pestering me,” says Pam.

“I’m so glad he did – he saved my life. I was having the heart attack at the time and if I hadn’t made myself get up to move him it would have been too late and I’d have died.

“As it was I phoned and an ambulance rushed me to hospital and I was taken straight into surgery.”

Pamela admits she was so out of it with the morphine she’d been given that she said she “was fine” on being told what was happening.

With the main artery of her heart blocked she had a stent fitted, and only after that did the enormity of what had happened hit her.

Since then she’s quit smoking, followed a healthier eating and exercise routine and found new love with fiancé Ronnie. And she’s firmly backing the BHF campaign.

“If there is any family history of heart disease then you have to talk about it and be aware it can hit anyone.”

For more info, visit



Cervical cancer test saved my life… so don’t delay it

Invasion of the Viking super-cats that are growing in popularity