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Saturday 24 February 2018

Heroic medics at stag party save man's life after he has heart attack

Incident took place at Fairyhouse racecourse (Photo: Google Maps)
Incident took place at Fairyhouse racecourse (Photo: Google Maps)

Eimear Rabbitt

Two off-duty medical professionals have been hailed as heroes after their efforts helped to save a man's life when he suffered a heart attack while at the races.

Both men - one a doctor and the other a nurse - were enjoying a stag party in a VIP suite at Fairyhouse Racecourse when the man collapsed after taking ill.

The men - who do not wish to be named - rushed to assist the 52-year-old as his concerned loved ones looked on.

Along with an on-course doctor and fast-acting paramedic staff, they managed to stabilise the man, who was rushed to hospital and was in a stable condition last night.

The man had been celebrating a wedding anniversary at the pre-Fairyhouse Easter Festival and Irish Grand National event in the BobbyJo Restaurant on Saturday afternoon.

He was immediately attended by the two men - who were among the 200 guests at the lunch - and his niece, who is also a nurse.

Alan Hughes witnessed event
Alan Hughes witnessed event

They were quickly joined by paramedic staff and the racecourse doctor, who worked tirelessly and used the on-site defibrillator.

Together they managed to stabilise the man, who was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery on Saturday night.

The group was applauded by shocked guests for its heroic actions and Peter Roe, general manager of Fairyhouse, said he dreads to think what may have happened without their help.

"I spoke to the man's brother and he is making good progress" Mr Roe told the Herald last night.

"It was one of those things where you prepare for it but you never expect it to happen.

"It was just so lucky that we had a defibrillator and on-course doctor with him in under four minutes and the two brave men were there within 30 seconds.

"When you get a happy ending it is great, but he is very fortunate that it happened on a day he was racing and where there was immediate medical assistance available.

"We always have two ambulances on site to follow the jockeys, but you don't expect to have to use one for the general public," he said.

It was the first time that the Meath-based racecourse had to use their defibrillator and Mr Roe said that it is vital for all staff to be trained in its use as well as being able to do CPR.

"We have all been trained and the defibrillator is always in position, but you can't beat having a doctor there."

Over 2,000 people were at Fairyhouse races on Saturday, with 200 people enjoying the special lunch in the suite overlooking the racecourse.


The man was a guest at the lunch along with his wife and a number of relatives and friends.

The two medical professionals had been enjoying a stag among a large group of companions.

"It all happened very suddenly and there were shouts for a doctor, so the two men came up straight away," said one witness.

"They were joined very quickly by the racecourse medical staff and they all were working so hard for many minutes. It was very shocking and upsetting for his family and friends, but the team working on him were brilliant."

Ireland AM presenter Alan Hughes, who witnessed the incident, said he will take part in a live CPR tutorial for viewers on his show.

"It is amazing what those medical professionals did and I think everyone should be able to carry out CPR, so I am going to learn how to do it live on the show," Alan told the Herald.

"I'm going to do that because something like that can happen anywhere, everyone should know CPR."


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