An Ardboe family has raised £5k for defibrillators in rural areas, after their brother’s life was saved by staff at Stewartstown Health Centre.
The Curran family held a special event at Ardboe Hall on Saturday night (November 5) to raise money in support of their local GP surgery.
Dr Brian Miller and his team at the health centre were credited with saving Ardboe native Thomas Curran, when he was visiting from his home in the US last July (22).
Speaking at the event on Saturday night, Dr Miller told the Mail Thomas was “a miracle” and that not many people get a second chance like he has. But he said it wasn’t just his work that saved Thomas.
“It’s the work of the whole of Stewartstown Health Centre,” Dr Miller explained.
He has credited everyone from Thomas’s nephew Ciaran - who brought him in - to his sisters Bernie and Josie, Dr Briege McGarvey, practice manager Carmel Little, nurses Heather Taylor, Sharon Maguire and Michelle McDonald, as well as the ambulance crew, with saving his life.
“Basically Thomas is a miracle,” the doctor added.
“He was as blue as my shirt for half an hour. There was no output, we did CPR, we shocked him five/ six times and we thought he was gone.
“We were actually thinking about giving up, but then we did a last pulse check - there was a very feint pulse and then he started coming round. We were amazed,” he added. “It’s very hard to explain how he’s still here.”
With the money raised by the Currans for the health centre, Doctor Miller said he now intends to install public access defibrillators where they are most needed.
“We thank the Curran family greatly for everything they have done,” he added. “We want to map out the area and get an idea of where the defibrillators are and which ones are accessible to the public... and fill in the gaps.”
On the night, Thomas, who is now exercising and watching what he eats and drinks, said: “I am overwhelmed by how many people turned up.”