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Irish man saves a woman's life on a London street

John Reidy reacted when he saw a woman going into a cardiac arrest.
Jun 16th 2015, 2:41 PM 37,380 16

Medical student John Reidy_photographer credit Nigel Pacquette Medical student John Reidy Source: Nigel Pacquette

A DOCUMENTARY WILL be broadcast this evening on BBC Two’s ‘An Hour to Save Your Life’ that looks at how an Irishman in London intervened to save a woman’s life.

John Reidy, originally from Co Meath, intervened when he saw a woman collapse on a London street from a cardiac arrest and was facing a wait of six minutes before the emergency services were able to attend the scene.

Reacting to the situation, the 27-year-old performed a life-saving CPR procedure.

Doing so prevented the loss of oxygen to the woman’s brain and kept her alive until the ambulance was able to arrive.

Speaking about the incident, he said, “I had never done CPR in a real-life situation before, but I guess I just switched into autopilot mode at that point and took over doing the chest compressions straight away.”

There was no time to waste, and all I could think about was that I had to focus 110 per cent on doing good CPR because this person’s life depended on it.

The woman that John saved was Francita Farrell, a 32-year-old mother of four.

Patient Francita and medical student John Reidy_photographer credit Nigel Pacquette Patient Francita with medical student John Source: Nigel Pacquette

Once the ambulance service arrived they used a defibrillator to shock Francita’s heart.

Emergency procedures were performed on the scene to cool her body down, administer an anaesthetic and put her on a ventilator before she was transferred to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. On arriving she was place into an induced coma for twenty-four hours before attempts were made to wake her up.

Following the incident, Francita received no brain damage and has had a device fitted to her heart to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Coincidentally, later that same day, John was taking part in an observation at a cardiology clinic in at the same hospital that Fracita had been taken to. He was informed by a registrar that she was alive and well and making a recovery.

Francita subsequently returned to her job as a care worker two months after leaving hospital.

Speaking about John’s intervention, she said, “I am a young mother of four beautiful children and if it had not been for John’s quick thinking doing CPR and then all the fantastic medical care that followed, they would not have their mother.”

No amount of thank yous can truly express my gratitude to John. He is my guardian angel.

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Michael Sheils McNamee

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