A HYPNOTHERAPIST who had a severe asthma attack at Gifford’s Circus has thanked the staff who helped save her life.

Dipti Tait, 46, was sitting in the front row of the circus' big top in Lypiatt, near Stroud, on Friday night when she started having difficulty breathing.

“I love Gifford’s and I really wanted to sit at the front,” she said. “About half way through the show, they lifted up the wooden stage, exposing a layer of sawdust underneath, so the horses could canter around the ring.

“As soon as the horses came on and their hooves started churning up the sawdust, I instantly couldn’t breathe. I literally felt like I was being suffocated.”

Dipti, who lives in Brimscombe, said she didn’t want to make a fuss and disrupt the show.

“But my partner Toby spotted what was going on and grabbed my hand and pulled me out,” she said.

Once outside the big top, Dipti just managed to whisper the word ‘ambulance’ to Toby.

“Everyone was telling me to relax, but I couldn’t breathe and I was panicking,” she said.

“I thought I was going to die. But the Gifford’s front of house team were absolutely fantastic.

“Connie, Hannah and Willy were by my side the whole time. They knew exactly what to do. They helped me to focus and try and remain calm.

“They were my Gifford’s angels.”

An asthma sufferer since birth, Dipti said she has had many attacks before, but she has never experienced anything like the speed and severity of this one.

“If it wasn’t for the paramedics arriving so fast and taking total control, it would have not been such a happy ending,” she said.

“Although they came in five minutes, it felt like an eternity to me.”

Dipti was cared for by paramedics in the circus tea tent, where she was given four nebuliser treatments, plus steroids.

She remained there for two-and-a-half hours until her condition had stabilised.

On Sunday, feeling much better, Dipti decided to drop off a gift for the circus team, to say thank you for all their help.

“I was so grateful that I went in with a massive hamper of alcohol for them,” she said.

“I’m not a fluffy or gushy sort of person, but I was really touched by their support and kindness.”

A spokesman for Gifford’s said: “We are so pleased to know that Dipti is much better following her asthma attack on Friday.

“Front of house staff Connie Ramsey and Joe Halas are first aid trained and along with general manager Willie Athill looked after her until the ambulance arrived.

“Dipti came back to the circus yesterday to thank us and it was great to see her looking so much better, we would like to invite Dipti and her partner back to see Xanadu so they can enjoy the whole show.”