Mum Heather Pinder, 31, struck down by heart attack
A YOUNG mum is being treated in a specialist brain injury unit after suffering a massive heart attack just months after getting married.
Heather Pinder, 31, is unlikely to fully recover after her brain was starved of oxygen for almost 20 minutes.
Doctors have been unable to explain to her husband Stephen why previously healthy Heather was struck down.
Mr Pinder, 31, said: "I ask myself why this happened to her and us every night before we go to sleep. But it could have been a lot worse, we are lucky she is still here.
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"Before this happened, she was always busy doing something. When she wasn't working, she was busy being a mum. She was always planning things for us to do. Now we don't know what will happen in the future.
"Nobody has made any promises about how she will be in the future or how long she will stay in hospital."
Heather, who worked as a forensic psychologist at Hull Prison, is currently being treated at the Goole Neuro Rehabilitation Centre, where she is learning to walk and talk again.
She spent two weeks in intensive care after suffering the heart attack at her home in Holland Street, east Hull, after getting the couple's daughter Scarlett, 2, out of bed.
Mr Pinder said: "She had just brought Scarlett into our bed when Heather started fitting. She fell on the floor and was face down. I called an ambulance and tried to do CPR but she didn't have a pulse.
"When we got to the hospital, the doctors said it was not looking good. She had stopped breathing again and it was touch and go for a while.
"There were times when they queried whether to switch her life support machine off, but in the end they said her age had saved her."
Heather suffered brain damage and has been diagnosed with ataxia, a condition which causes difficulties with walking and speech.
Doctors have compared her condition to the former Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba, who had a heart attack during an FA Cup match earlier this year.
She has now been fitted with an internal defibrillator, which will release an electrical charge if her heart malfunctions again.
"The doctors said they don't know what caused the heart attack but when they have been monitoring her heartbeat and every now and again it does behave erratically," said Mr Pinder.
"It is exactly like what happened to Fabrice Muamba. She does ask why he is OK now and she is still in hospital, which is understandable."
Since Heather was admitted to hospital, Stephen has moved out of their family home to Wawne to be closer to his parents.
He said: "It has been really hard. Sometimes it is horrible, especially when I am sat on my own at night and I know she should be there with me."
Heather's colleagues at the prison have arranged an event to raise money for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, which runs the centre in Goole.
Since Heather was admitted to the unit three months ago following her heart attack in November, she has made progress in walking and talking.
The couple had only married in July after being together for five years.
Mr Pinder, who also works at the Hedon Road prison, said: "Since Heather has been in Goole, she has gone from strength to strength.
"She can now walk about 60 yards with a frame, and her speech is getting better. Hopefully, it will carry on."