Pictured are Paul and Mairead Logue, with their son Paul and Shane O’Neill and Patricia Corr from Donegal Bay Community First Responders, and Louise McDevitt, Emergency Call Taker NEOC.
When Mairead Logue signed her husband up for a CPR class, she never thought that the first person he would have to use his new skill on would be her, saving her life in the process.
Mairead, husband Paul, and three young children were on holiday in Bundoran during the October Bank Holiday when Mairead (43) suffered a cardiac arrest.
“I had a bit of a headache on the Saturday but we had a normal Sunday. The morning of the bank holiday Monday, Paul had called into me in bed to see if I wanted my breakfast brought in. I answered no. Shortly afterwards, he came into the room and noticed I was making a funny noise. He knew instantly that something was wrong,” she said.
He worked on Mairead for 17 minutes before the paramedics arrived and took over.
But for his wife, a dental nurse from Newcastle West in Limerick, he would not have been trained up in CPR.
“I do a course in CPR every so often to keep my skills up. About a year and a half ago, I saw there was one coming up locally so I signed Paul up for it. When I took the cardiac arrest, it was actually the first time that he did it for real,” she explained.
“He said he froze for a few seconds when he saw me just lying there but then he burst into action and started working on me. He shouted in to Paul to call 999 and tell them what was happening to me.”
Emergency Call Taker Louise McDevitt was the person who answered that phonecall that day and Mairead was full of praise for her.
“Louise was amazing at the other end of the phone. She was a great comfort to both Pauls and kept them calm throughout,” she said.
She explained that her mum passed away suddenly some time before and, since then, 10-year-old Paul was aware of how to handle an emergency situation.
“He was so good. We had spoken to him about what to do if you need to call an ambulance and explained that he needed to give our Eircode to help them find us. He stayed calm and was a great help.”
First on the scene were Donegal Bay Community First Responders who took over the CPR until the paramedics arrived. She was airlifted to Sligo hospital for treatment but she quickly recovered. The fit 43-year-old was told that there was no known cause for her cardiac arrest.
“It was a bit scary being told that there was no real cause but it was reassuring to learn that there is no long-term damage to my heart. I am physically fit and very active so it was certainly a shock that it happened. I am slowly getting back to myself. I am still off work but I want to make sure that I don’t rush back and compromise my recovery,” said Mairead.
The National Ambulance Service were delighted to welcome the Logue family to their headquarters. She met first responders Patricia Corr and Shane O’Neill and some of the other NAS staff involved in her treatment.
“We had a great chat with Louise. I haven’t met Ken who was the paramedic who worked on me but, by coincidence, his wife is from nine miles up the road from us so we are all going to meet up when he is next in Limerick,” she added.