The mum-of-four had no pulse for 56 minutes as paramedics repeatedly performed CPR after she suffered a massive heart attack at her bingo hall.
Sonia said: “The only thing I remember is my late husband coming to me and saying ‘it’s not your time, Sonia, go back to the children.’ Then I woke up in hospital.”
The mum described herself as a “living miracle” today as she was reunited with the two paramedics who never gave up until she was brought back to life.
“Every day I think how incredible it is that I’m still here. I don’t take anything for granted,” she said.
On the day she ‘died’, Sonia had got up and gone about her daily tasks with daughter Rebecca, 30.
She had been due to start work at Gala Bingo Hall in Ashington at 5.30pm but went in early at 4.45pm to have a chat with her colleagues and a coffee.
The 50-year-old said: “I mainly work in the dining area and had been heading out of there when I remember getting a pain in my chest and then collapsing.”
Out cold, Sonia’s frantic boss Karen Arkle began trying to resuscitate her as an ambulance was called.
Within four minutes, paramedic Jason Riches and emergency care assistant Gary French were on the scene, taking over CPR from Karen.
They were then backed up nine minutes later by paramedic Stephen Eke and first year student paramedic Rosie Priest.
For the next 56 minutes the team worked to save Sonia as she was transported to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.
It was while they were trying to save her that Sonia said she got a message from late husband John, who died aged 37 in 2004 following a heart attack.
“I spoke to him and he told me that it was not my time and I should go back. To be honest, it felt very comforting.”
By the time they arrived at Cramlington hospital, Sonia was still unconscious but had started breathing.
Sonia had her heart ‘shocked’ seven times with a defibrillator and was given eight doses of adrenaline. She was then transferred to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where she underwent life-saving surgery to have a stent fitted in her heart.