A MAN who collapsed in the health suite of the Waves Leisure complex in Lurgan was saved from dying thanks to the quick actions of staff.
“The incident undoubtedly saved this man’s life,” says Acting Manager James Moore at the Craigavon Borough Council-run centre.
“All our staff were superb, their training kicked in and as they say the rest is history.”
Centre attendants Dorothy Johnston and Stephen Lavery take up the story. “The gentleman was in the health suite and collapsed,” recalls Dorothy, “so I hit the alarm. Then the team rallied round and we started resuscitation. In the meantime staff on reception rang for medical assistance and other staff cleared the area.”
Stephen Lavery continues: “It was like a scene from Casualty. While Dorothy was performing mouth to mouth CPR other staff were helping with the chest compressions, I brought out the defibrillator and as per our training and according to the verbal instructions from the defib told everyone to stand clear and we shocked the patient. I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t got the defib. It was fantastic. All I can really remember is the instruction to stand clear.”
“The paramedics arrived within four minutes but the team continued to work on the casualty for about 28 minutes after which he was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he subsequently had major surgery but is now back home in Lurgan,” said a Craigavon council spokeswoman.
“The staff admitted that the experience left them somewhat stunned, but are delighted that they were able to literally save a life. Although they wanted to publicise their story earlier they did not do so until the gentleman was well on the road to recovery.”
“This reflects the of calibre of our staff,” said Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson. “And we as a council are extremely proud of them. So much so that last week we invited representatives from Waves to come and recount their experience at our Health and Life Sciences Conference.”
A council spokeswoman said: “In another twist to the story, when Declan O’Mahoney from HeartSine, a defibrillator manufacturer who was attending the conference heard their story he actually donated a brand new defibrillator to Waves staff and has promised further free training.
“The staff can donate the defibrillator to either the saved man or to any other organisation or facility that they see fit to. HeartSine will also provide free training.”
“Thankfully this story has a happy ending,” concluded Dr Theresa Donaldson, “but it could have been so different if it were not for the quick action and thinking of all our staff. They excelled themselves and as such deserve our recognition and thanks.
“Everyone wishes the gentleman concerned a speedy recovery and that in the near future he will be able to make full use of the excellent facilities at Waves.”