Six years ago, on July 9, Ramin died in front of her twice, after suffering a catastrophic heart attack in the emergency department at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.
“He thought he had eaten too much pizza and it was just heartburn, but then he collapsed,” Jane recalls of the terrifying ordeal.
“He didn’t want to go to hospital but I drove him there, rather than calling an ambulance. Ten minutes later he had a heart attack and died right there on the table.”
Medical staff brought Ramin back to life before placing seven stents in his stricken heart. Much of the horrifying drama played out in front of Jane, who was mistaken for a doctor because she was wearing staff ID.
As the hospital’s long-standing corporate partnerships ambassador, Jane says: “Luckily, St Vincent’s has some of the greatest cardiologists in Australia.
“Afterwards, they asked how I was ever going to keep Ramin at home to recover, because he is a workaholic. Their best advice was to get him a dog and to take him on holiday.”
Bizarrely, that kick-started the couple’s joint venture as co-owners – with friends Hazel and Joe Clarke – of the LickiMat company, which now sells millions of safe, non-toxic, vet-approved pet products to train and soothe animals around the world.
“I thought, ‘Right, I’ll get Ramin a Great Dane,’ because we’d talked about them and I knew he liked them,” smiles Jane.
“So I drove for nine hours and bought a beautiful blue-grey puppy called Rubi. And it was love at first sight when I took him home.”
Later that year, Jane and Ramin met the Clarkes on a fishing trip at Heron Island, learned about their start-up business and decided to invest.
With Jane’s PR skills and 57-year-old Ramin’s background in information, technology and financial services – not to mention their passion for animals – it seemed a perfect fit.
“Jane is an amazing person, so kind,” Ramin proudly tells New Idea. “She just works so hard at everything she does.”
Nobody could’ve predicted this outcome when Jane and Ramin first met in an airport business lounge 11 years ago.
Two worlds collided: Jane, a pedigreed daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson, former polo manager to the Prince of Wales; and Ramin, a brilliant son of hardworking Iranian immigrants.
“He’s funny, witty, kind and highly intelligent. Ramin follows the ancient philosophy of Zoroaster, which believes in good thoughts, words and deeds, and he certainly upholds all of that,” beams Jane, whose three grown-up children – Seamus, 40, Ayesha, 35, and Heidi, 25 – are totally in favour of her relationship.
It’s one big, happy, blended family when they get together with father-of-two Ramin’s Australian-based daughter, Nikki, 24.
“Luckily, we have plenty of room for everyone to come and stay,” says Jane. “We had a sea change and moved from Sydney to slow down two years ago, but it hasn’t quite ended up that way!”
With a warehouse just down the road in Tuggerah, LickiMat gift boxes to pack for Christmas and an upcoming trip to a pet trade fair in Bologna – plus outside work and charity commitments – Jane and Ramin’s hands are more than full.
But wait, there’s more!
Jane tells New Idea she has plans to compete at next year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show with well-bred puppy, Rufus, a harlequin Great Dane.
“It’s a world full of wonderful people and it’s great fun, but Rufus does slobber all over my best Carla Zampatti suit.”
To treat your pet and find out more about boredom-busting, slow-feeding, anxiety relieving LickiMats, visit lickimat.com.