independent

Sunday 31 August 2014

Fireman Seán a lifesaver for father John

Dnal Nolan

Published 02/04/2014 | 05:36

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John D Finucane and his fireman son, Sean, who saved his life after he suffered a haemhorrage from a ruptured artery.

A TARBERT man living in New York could have bled to death but for the quick actions of his fireman son who, by a stroke of good fortune, happened to be on-duty nearby when the accident occured.

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A TARBERT man living in New York could have bled to death but for the quick actions of his fireman son who, by a stroke of good fortune, happened to be on-duty nearby when the accident occured.

Tarbert native John D Finucane frantically rang his son, Sean, after he started losing a serious amount of blood from a ruptured artery in his leg.

Sean wasn't even supposed to have been on duty that night, but had made a late decision to take overtime at a firehouse - and as luck would have it that firehouse was nearby. It was there he took the call from his father on a mobile he usually leaves at home while on duty. It was another unusual turn that made a life or death difference for his father.

Sean quickly arrived on the scene and stemmed his father's haemhorrage with his hands while he directed an ambulance crew to take his dad to the nearest hospital rather than the one ten miles further away they had intended going to.

John D suffered the massive loss of blood just weeks after he fell while on a short holiday with wife, Peggy, in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. He sustained a fractured ankle in the accident which was treated back in New York, but blood formed beneath the skin and slowly developed a scab. It was this scab that ruptured the artery.

"I tried to stem the flow but quickly realised I would need help and called my son Sean, who is a fireman with the city of Rochester, New York," John D told The Kerryman. "Sean arrived quickly with the fire truck and crew and I didn't find out until later that he wasn't even scheduled to have been working that night!

"Most of the kitchen floor was covered in my blood at that stage as Sean tried to stem the flow while calling for a tourniquet. An ambulance eventually arrived and Sean accompanied me keeping his hands gripped tightly around my leg as the tourniquet was not enough." Meanwhile, the ambulance drove for a hospital ten miles away and at a normal pace without lights and sirens flashing. It was only through insisting on the seriousness of his father's condition that Sean got the ambulance crew to treat the situation as a grave emergency and they changed course for a hospital a mile away.

John D went straight into emergency and is thankfully expected to make a full recovery from his ordeal. He is in no doubt as to who played the biggest role in making his recovery possible. "I am thankful to God for all the blessed coincidences which made my son Sean available on the night," he said.

Sean has since been back to Tarbert visiting his aunts Christina and Anne in Tarbert and cousin Jim Finucane in Tralee - all of them as thankful as John D for the part Sean played in the whole story.

Kerryman

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