DEATH was dangerously close to Annette Cochrane earlier this year.
A sudden collapse on the tennis court in the middle of a competition with her partner, Montville Veterinary Clinic owner Ernie Young, could have been the end for her.
If not for the quick work of paramedics, the tireless efforts of doctors and nurses and the help she received in rehabilitation, Ms Cochrane may have never made it through her terrifying ordeal.
She returned home this week, and Mr Young has extended his thanks to everyone who cared for her in that time.
Ms Cochrane and Mr Young were in the middle of a tennis competition in Gympie when she collapsed due to a massive bleed of the carotid artery.
"Within about 30 seconds I was on the phone to the ambulance," Mr Young said.
"If they didn't arrive when they did she would have been dead in two minutes.
"If it had been anywhere else she would have died."
Ms Cochrane was taken to Gympie Hospital and then airlifted to the Royal Brisbane for emergency surgery. She spent 16 days in the ICU.
Eventually, she was transferred to Eden Rehabilitation Centre in Cooroy.
Mr Young took his hat off to everyone who helped out.
"The staff at the hospitals couldn't have been any better," he said.
"They've been excellent all the way through.
"The hours put in by some people were enormous, I couldn't do the 12-hour shifts in the vet clinic that they do in ICU."
Ms Cochrane returned home to a support network of new friends the couple have made since moving to the hinterland a year ago.
"We haven't been here that long but we've met so many nice people. It's such a good community and the support network has been great."
Ms Cochrane is still recovering but hopes to return to work running the Montville cinic.