Life Health & Wellbeing

Monday 16 July 2018

Father-of-three (62) who died for five minutes brought back to life by quick-thinking friends

Margaret Keohane and Denis Crowley in RTE's Trauma
Margaret Keohane and Denis Crowley in RTE's Trauma

Lynn Kelleher

A golfer, who was dead for five minutes after having a heart attack in a clubhouse, was brought back to life by his quick-thinking friends.

Denis Crowley was revived by pals who carried out lifesaving CPR and used a defibrillator to shock him until paramedics arrived at the Wicklow clubhouse.

In the new RTE Two documentary series Trauma, which gives looks behind the scenes at Irish emergency departments, the 62-year-old is seen sitting up in bed just three hours after his heart stopped beating.

“It’s great to get a second chance,” he said.

The Cork father-of-three, who had been playing at ­Woodenbridge Golf Course in Avoca, joked that he never got to play a second round.

“I will get the chance to play some other day ­hopefully. Everyone has been great”, he added.

Denis is filmed being rushed to St Vincent’s Emergency ­Department just over two hours after collapsing with a cardiac arrest while eating his dinner in the restaurant.

His friends, Gerry and ­Margaret Keohane, told how he was “out for a long time”.

“You’d have to say he was dead, there was no pulse, nothing, no vital signs”, said Gerry.

The documentary reveals that for every minute a heart is stopped there is a 10pc chance the patient will be brain ­damaged or die.

St Vincent’s Specialist Registrar in Emergency Medicine, Dr TJ Muhammad, said Denis was very fortunate his friends started chest compressions immediately, ensuring his body got oxygen.

“This was an excellent ­example of a community CPR,” he said. “A lot of times, what happens is the CPR isn’t started immediately. People start mouth-to-mouth, which is not recommended anymore.

“It’s the compressions that keep you going. Keep calm and do the CPR, that’s the biggest thing.”

His friends revealed how Denis was in mid-sentence when he slumped in his seat.  In between administering CPR immediately, they gave him three shocks from a defibrillator.

“After the first shock, he hadn’t responded enough. At that point, I thought we were losing him”, said Margaret Keohane, who is a retired nurse.

In the series, cameras follow the chain of people who deal with cardiac arrests, head injuries, road traffic accidents and workplace incidents.

Trauma continues on RTE Two tonight at 9.30pm

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