A DEDICATED nurse who spent her career caring for heart patients has tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Michelle McVey, who worked at Inverclyde Royal for more than 30 years, passed away this month at the age of 50.

Her husband Stuart fought to save his soulmate when she suffered a cardiac arrest at home in September, administering CPR before paramedics took over.

He said: "My adrenaline was pumping but I knew I couldn’t stop.

"I just hoped she would wake up."

Michelle was rushed to IRH where she was placed in a coma before being transferred to the QEUH in Glasgow.

She had suffered brain damage and was on life support, but tragically there was nothing more medics could do and she slipped away on October 3, surrounded by her family.

Stuart is still struggling to come to terms with his unbearable loss.

He described his beloved wife as 'one of life's wonders' as he paid a poignant tribute to her.

Stuart, 53, said: "I don't think it's sunk in yet.

"I don't if it ever will.

"Michelle was very caring, everyone who knew her said she was one in a million.

"She was well loved by her colleagues and patients and was a very caring mother, a dedicated nurse and a friend to everyone."

The pair met growing up as teenagers in Larkfield, going on their first date in 1987.

They married in 2003 on New Year's Eve on the banks of Loch Ard in Aberfoyle and were blessed with daughter Sophie, 22, now a law student at Glasgow University, and son Kerr, 20, who is working as a building apprentice in Largs.

Businessman Stuart said Michelle inspired them to be all they could be in life.

Mr McVey, who owns Wetwall Warehouse in Greenock, said: "Michelle was a remarkable woman.

"She always held her head high and gave endlessly to those around her.

"She had a wonderful smile and an old head on young shoulders."

Michelle was the eldest of five children brought up by parents Janet and Bobby and attended Springfield Primary and Greenock High before studying to become a nurse.

She went back to school to achieve the grades she needed and was accepted at nursing college in 1990.

She started her career at ward J Centre in IRH before rising through the ranks.

Two years after starting she was promoted to senior staff nurse in intensive care and in 2001 became cardiac rehab and stroke prevention sister.

She helped set up a new cardiac referral service and helped to develop a system to determine signs of heart attack and stroke.

In 2007 she established a new stroke prevention service for Inverclyde and three years later while working she attended Glasgow Caledonian University for her nursing degree, to become cardiology practitioner.

She was also a chest pain nurse specialist, helping to save lives by interpreting results for people with cardiac complaints.

Stuart said: "She was very proud of working in Inverclyde Royal and would want to be remembered for striving to improve services for local people."

Away from work Michelle was at the centre of her family.

Stuart said: "She never took any time for herself and when the kids were growing up, she was always busy taking them to the scouts or swimming, whatever hobbies they had.

"They adored her.

"I feel very saddened that she can't be here to see her kids get married and have their own children and see them growing into the fabulous people she nurtured."

Sadly after a lifetime of looking after others Michelle suffered from poor health herself in latter years.

She contracted Lyme disease and was also diagnosed with COPD, living with these conditions for more than 10 years.

Stuart said: "Michelle was a very special person loved by many and will be sorely missed but her passion and memory will live on through Sophie and Kerr."

The family have decided it would be a fitting tribute to Michelle to raise funds in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

They thank everyone who has offered support and the staff at IRH and QEUH.

*To contribute to the fund in Michelle's memory visit https://giftofhope.bhf.org.uk/In-Memory/Michelle-McVey