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'Only for him I wouldn't be around today' - Jogger brought back to life by pals after heart attack


A running enthusiast has told how his friends brought him back to life after he suffered a heart attack on St Stephen's Day.

Builder Noel Tobin collapsed in Marlay Park, South Dublin on Monday moments before he was due to start a jog with friends Peter Knaggs, Erica Calder and Noel Lynam.

The 53-year-old, who is a member of Sportsworld Running Club in Dundrum, stopped breathing and his friends knew they need to act fast.

Peter started performing CPR with Noel Lynam while Erica contacted 999.

Speaking to Independent.ie, from his bed at St James' Hospital, Noel explained that he owes Peter and the others his life.

"Only for him [Peter], I wouldn't be around today," he said.


Noel Tobin (left) and Peter Knaggs (right)

Noel Tobin (left) and Peter Knaggs (right)

Noel Tobin (left) and Peter Knaggs (right)

Recalling the events of St Stephen's day morning, Noel said: “I drove into Marlay Park on Monday, I was due to meet Peter up there at 9.30am. I parked my car and ran up to him.

“To be honest, I don't remember any of it, I don't even remember parking the car.

“When I got to him, I collapsed. “I was told it was a heart attack, a big one.”

The next thing that Noel knew, he was waking up in a hospital bed.

Peter explained that he and Erica completed a First Responder course just six weeks ago and when they spotted Noel crumble to the ground they knew exactly what to do.

“We did the course, not thinking that we would ever need it. Little did we know that we would need to use it yesterday morning.”

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Peter recalled: “Noel collapsed initially and then he stopped breathing. I immediately started the compressions. Erica was on the phone to the emergency services in front of me, she was relaying everything they were saying.

“Noel [Lynam] was helping us adjust his head.

“I just did the compressions, I was conscious of doing the right tempo. He started breathing again and a short time later emergency services arrived.”

Peter estimates that they were performing CPR, with the help of a bystander, for 11 minutes.

“It was very much a team effort. I'm just so grateful that there were other people there," he said.

“I would encourage anyone to attend a first responder course. It's really, really important.”

Noel was taken to St James's Hospital where he continued to receive treatment on Tuesday evening.

But his condition has now dramatically improved and the jogger explained that this is largely due to the work of his friends.

“Only for Peter it wouldn't have turned out the way it did. He kept me going while we were waiting for the ambulance crew to get to the park.

“He was looking out for me, and only for him I wouldn't be around today,” he said. “I really just want to thank Peter for everything he has done for me.”

A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed that an ambulance and the fire engine from Nutgrove with an advanced paramedic on board were dispatched after receiving the emergency call on Monday morning.

"The early CPR really made the difference along with the advanced paramedic who made interventions using the defibrillator & drugs," the spokesperson said.

The Emergency Services are encouraging people to learn CPR for the new year.

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