GAA man recalls moment defibrillator saved his life
OVER 50 people from the Eglish and Benburb areas who trained with a local charity on the use of defibrillators have heard a first hand account of how it saved a young footballer’s life.
Seaghan Kearney from Dublin presented certificates to those who completed the Cormac Trust funded training and spoke about how a defibrillator saved his life in 2010 at a local GAA game.
“On 11th October 2010 I was playing football with some friends in my local GAA club. There was nothing different about the evening. It was just a normal Monday night trying to shake the cobwebs off from the weekend,” said Seaghan.
“However half way through the game my heart stopped and I collapsed in a heap on the ground. Thanks to some quick thinking from my friends, a defibrillator purchased off the back of the awareness by the Cormac Trust and a friend of mine, Terry O Brien, being trained in the use of that defibrillator, my life was saved from this incident of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.”
“When I eventually came around in hospital, my family explained what happened to me. Coming out of my confused state I asked them was it something similar that had happened to Cormac McAnallen, remembering why the defibrillator was donated to my club. They told me it was.” “Immediately I decided to write a letter to the McAnallens to thank them for the awareness they undertaken after Cormac’s untimely death because after all, it was their courage and perseverance that had helped to save my life.”
After leaving hospital Seaghan contacted the McAnallen family, and arranged to meet up to share his story of how their dedication to raising awareness saved his life.
“By a strange coincidence the day after I got out of hospital, Ireland were playing Australia in the Compromised Rules series for the Cormac McAnallen Cup. I decided to make a few calls to see if I could contact the McAnallen’s thinking they might be in Dublin for the game.
“Through the jigs and the reels I managed to get a phone number and arranged to meet them before the game in Croke Park. It was a very emotional moment for me, meeting this family that I didn’t know yet who had helped to save my life through their willingness and bravery to prevent tragedies such as the one that had befallen their own son,” he said.
“In another unusual coincidence the local pharmacist that had donated my defibrillator passed us in Croke Park and came over to say hello.
“So as you can imagine it is a real pleasure for myself, my wife and my Mam and Dad to be here tonight with you and with the McAnallens.
Mr Kearney commended those present for dedicating their time to training and emphasised the important of ‘Community Responders’.
“..if my story taught any lessons it was that without Community Responders, people like yourselves, there would be no survivors of SADS or indeed Cardiac Arrests. You would hope that you never need to use your valuable skills but if you do, you will be someone’s best chance of survival because unfortunately it is unlikely an ambulance will be on the scene within the required four minutes.
“You never know but your skills may give someone a future just like I was given. “
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