A 26-YEAR-OLD nurse has been hailed a hero for saving the life of a 63-year-old man who collapsed with a heart attack while walking alone along an isolated country road.
The family of retired postman Michael Cosgrove say he owes his life to nurse Ann Marie Foley.
She was driving on an unlit back road near Coolaney when her attention was drawn by a reflective strip on his jacket which was visible from the ditch.
Despite being on her own, Ms. Foley stopped her car and went to investigate.
She found Mr. Cosgrove in a near unconscious state.
She administered CPR which brought him round and then rang 999 for an ambulance.
"He was gone only for her," Mr. Cosgrove's daughter, Anne Mulcahy told The Sligo Champion.
"Thank God she stopped. We're so grateful to her. We cannot thank her enough. What she did was so brave.
"If she drove on my father would surely have died on the side of the road," she said. Ms. Foley, a nurse at Ballymote Community Nursing Unit, was travelling home to Coolaney from Ballisodare.
She placed her coat around Mr. Mulcahy and cradled him in her arms until the ambulance arrived.
No motorist passed in the time she was there.
She checked Mr. Cosgrove's phone to see if there was a In Case of Emergency contact.
"I had put my number in dad's phone as the ICE so the nurse rang me," said Mrs. Mulcahy.
She continued: "Obviously, it was a major shock to get the call but the nurse was wonderful.
"She told us not to worry that dad would be all right and that she was waiting with him for the ambulance."
Dubliner Mr. Cosgrove had travelled to Coolaney with his daughter Anne and her husband, Pat for the Christmas.
They have a holiday home in the area and Mr. Cosgrove liked to go for walks.
On New Year's Day he headed off in the direction of the Hungry Rock at about 4.45pm.
"I was a little worried about him going out when it was dark but he loved going for his walks around here.
"He liked to take exercise having suffered a heart attack previously," said Anne. He had gone about half an hour so no concerns were raised.
Mr. Cosgrove was subsequently admitted to St. James's Hospital in Dublin.
He is expected to be discharge soon having made a full recovery.