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'Only for you, I'd be visiting a graveside and not a bedside'

The woman who saved a man by starting CPR when he went into cardiac arrest has met with him and his wife.

Ellie O’Grady and Paddy O’Hara catching up after the traumatic life saving event
Ellie O’Grady and Paddy O’Hara catching up after the traumatic life saving event
Image: Communications Dept via HSE

A GALWAY WOMAN who saved a man after his heart stopped – met up with him and his wife to speak about the day.

Ellie O’Grady from Barna was driving home with her husband and two children when a car ahead of her crashed into a wall.

The driver, Paddy O’Hara, had gone into cardiac arrest. As a former nurse – Ellie recognised that his heart had stopped and managed to drag him out of the car and start CPR.

Galway Fire Service were driving by and used their defibrillator to give Paddy two shocks.

When the ambulance arrived, Advanced Paramedic Emmet Forkan, inserted a tube into Paddy’s windpipe and delivered drugs and a further five electric shocks to restart his heart.

Paddy, his wife Patricia, and Ellie spoke about the enormity of the event during the emotional meeting.

Paddy said if Ellie hadn’t started CPR he wouldn’t have survived long enough for Emmet and the ambulance crews to bring him back to life.

Patricia summed it up by saying: “Only for you all, I would have been visiting a graveside not a bedside”.

unnamed (1) Ellie O’Grady Paddy O’Hara meet Emmet Forkan National Ambulance Service Source: Communications Dept via HSE

Could you save a life?

Every year more than 5,000 people in Ireland die from heart attacks. However, deaths can often be prevented if CPR is started immediately.

The victims chance of survival drops 10% for every minute that passes without CPR or a shock from a defibrillator.

Community First Responder groups sign up to a programme with the National Ambulance Service and receive formal training.

NAS Operations Resource Manager in Galway, Darryl Coen, says,

Community First Responder groups can assist their local communities and provide that first response whilst awaiting the arrival of the emergency services.

“The NAS would be happy to discuss the programme with community groups that are interested in signing up and we would also ask businesses to contact us if they have a defibrillator (AED) on site.”

More details of the Community First Responder programme are available on the HSE website.

Read: The public could become life savers under a new plan to fight cardiac arrests>

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