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Described as a nurse who will always go the extra mile Roisin Dorrian, the winner of our Woman of the Year in Health, made headlines last year when she saved a boxer's life while off duty.

'It was good with Sean to have a postive story for a change, as so many stories coming out of the health service are just bad stories'

Described as a nurse who will always go the extra mile Roisin Dorrian, the winner of our Woman of the Year in Health, made headlines last year when she saved a boxer's life while off duty.

A Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse at Downe Hospital, Roisin was helping out at a charity boxing match when 44 year old amateur boxer Sean McLaughlin collapsed in the ring with a heart attack.

Roisin gave him CPR at the scene and saved his life. Sean later described her as his guardian angel and said: "I owe my life to Roisin and can't thank her enough."

Roisin (46), who is a mum of two and lives in Ardglass, has wanted to be a nurse since she was a young child.

She served as a staff nurse in coronary care in the Downe Hospital for 18 years before moving to cardiac rehabilitation in 2006.

Roisin's job involves steering cardiac patients through the recovery journey and back to normal life.

In her typical modesty, she played down her role in saving Sean's life and said that she just did what she was trained to do.

A genuinely humble person she was stunned to pick up our award.

She says: "I was totally overwhelmed to win the award.

"People who know me well will know that I love my job but I like to remain very much in the background.

"I was very honoured to be nominated and absolutely stunned to win. I believe many people save lives every day, not just nurses.

"It was good with Sean to have a positive story for a change as so many stories coming out of the health service are bad stories.

"With Sean I didn't really have time to think, I just jumped in when I knew there was something wrong." Roisin was volunteering at the fundraising boxing event for the Coney Island youth soccer team at a community centre in her home town of Ardglass in November when Sean collapsed in the ring at the end of the second round of his bout.

First-aiders from the Order of Malta, who were on standby at the event, began CPR. Realising something was wrong Roisin ran over to assist.

"I knew something very serious had happened. I jumped into the ring and pulled a defibrillator that was provided by the Order of Malta and used it and he was saved," she said at the time.

"I am very proud that I was able to help.

"I just did what I am trained to do."

Sean was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital before being transferred to the Ulster Hospital.

He has since recovered from triple by-pass surgery, with a little help from his guardian angel.

In what was another unusual coincidence it was Roisin who was tasked with caring for Sean after his by-pass surgery.

She says:"Living in the same area Sean was referred to me after his surgery.

"He completed a rehabilitation programme with me.

"It was lovely to be able to give him that follow-up care and I think it was reassuring for him."

Roisin attended the Woman of the Year awards with her daughter and sister and said she felt humbled by the many stories of our finalists.

"It was a great night and I had such great support from everybody," she says.

"When you hear all the stories of everyone in all of the categories it is so inspirational and you just ask yourself 'why me, what did I do to deserve this?"

Belfast Telegraph