Quick thinking nurses saved Tom’s life

Thomas Price from Abbeyshrule and his partner, Kate Dardis, were special visitors to the MedEvac 112 base in Athlone last week. Earlier this year Thomas suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at a GP's surgery in Ballymore and public health nurses Ashling Concannon (4th from left) and Paula Lennon (4th from right) immediately began performing CPR, while emergency medical services were called and a community AED was fetched. Also in photo are NACC Controller Caitriona Edgar (third from right) and John Marshall (second from left), Advanced Paramedic and Operational Resource Manager for the NAS Mid Leinster region.
On June 26 last, Abbeyshrule man, Tom Price went into cardiac arrest at a doctor’s clinic in Ballymore, Co Westmeath.

On June 26 last, Abbeyshrule man, Tom Price went into cardiac arrest at a doctor’s clinic in Ballymore, Co Westmeath.

Were it not for the quick thinking nurses - Aisling Concannon and Paula Lennon - one of whom ran out into the Ballymore community to fetch a defibrillator, Mr Price’s story could be a lot different.

It all began earlier that morning when Tom - a farmer - decided to go to a local mart for a few hours. While there he began to feel very unwell and subsequently made an appointment to see Dr Paul Kelly in Ballymore.

When he arrived at the clinic, Tom collapsed and immediately went into cardiac arrest. Nurses, Paula Lennon and Aisling Concannon, immediately began performing CPR, while emergency medical services were called. Paula then ran out to fetch a community/public access AED (Defibrillator) to bring to the scene.

Tom’s partner Kate Dardis, who was not there, outlined the story to the Leader this week . “Paula, Aisling and Dr Kelly were there; Paula ran out and got a defibrillator which belonged to the parish and they managed to keep Tom’s heart beating until the ambulance services arrived.

“Not long after a road ambulance crew arrived at the scene and this was followed thereafter by the MedEvac 112 air ambulance.”

The crew worked franticalto revive Tom and managed to restart his heart. His condition stabilised and he was deemed fit to travel by ambulance to an appropriate hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a blockage in one of his coronary arteries.

“He was immediately taken to University College Hospital in Galway (UCHG) where he remained for three days,” added Kate.

“Tom got stents in and was transferred back to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

“He has improved greatly since then and is home and doing great. Because Tom was a farmer, he was always on the go, so he is now learning to take things easy.”

Kate also took the opportunity to thank all those who worked together to save Tom’s life that day.

“Although none of these individuals had ever met before, their quick-thinking and professionalism resulted in a successful resuscitation, and Tom’s heart was restored to beating on its own again,” she smiled.

“We are so grateful to everyone for everything that was done for Tom. We can’t thank them enough.

“People don’t realise how important these services are until they need them.”

Now on the road to recovery, Tom was recently able to meet the people who worked together on that fateful day to thank them in person for their efforts.