A Northern Irish woman said she is thankful to be alive after her heart was restarted seven times in 11 days. 

Aoife Boyle, 22, from County Derry, collapsed while out with friends at a pub in Derry last month. 

Her friend Aideen McGuinness, who is a nurse, performed CPR after Aoife went into cardiac arrest, and the 22-year-old subsequently spent weeks in three different hospitals in Northern Ireland and England, where she suffered six further cardiac arrests over the next 11 days. 

Aoife, whose family has no history of heart conditions, was informed that she may have caught a virus that caused inflammation and a build-up of fluid around her heart. 

She is currently recovering at home with a defibrillator vest while she awaits further tests, according to the BBC.

Her mother Tanya told BBC NI that it was her "worst nightmare" to receive the call informing her that Aoife had collapsed in the pub. 

"Aoife was meeting her friends for lunch at a pub, they just got in through the door, they didn't even make it to sit down, and the next thing she just collapsed and started taking seizures," Tanya Boyle told the BBC. 

"They rang me straight away, telling me to just get there quick." 

Aoife was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital, where she suffered several other cardiac arrests. 

Tanya told the BBC that on one occasion she was video-calling her daughter when she suffered a cardiac arrest in her hospital bed. 

"I was on FaceTime to Aoife and I just saw the phone fall, and I heard squealing and shouting for nurses," Tanya said. 

Aoife was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast before being airlifted to the specialist Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, England. 

"Within 11 days she had seven cardiac arrests," Tanya told the BBC. 

"Five of them she stopped breathing and they had to do CPR, two of them they didn't have to do CPR but they had to sedate her to shock her to get the rhythm of her heart back.

"When we got to Newcastle, we were told her heart function was between 10 and 20%."

Aoife told BBC NI that she has little memory of collapsing at the pub or her subsequent time in hospital in Derry and Belfast. 

She said it was only when she got to Newcastle and started on a new medication that she started to become properly aware of the situation. 

"I wouldn't have been an anxious person before but I got really anxious, I didn't let mummy out of my sight.

"The cardiac arrests would mostly happen when I was asleep at night so I was terrified to sleep." 

She said any doctor she has met has told her she is "very lucky" to be alive, adding that she can't thank the doctors who saved her life enough.