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23rd Jan 2024

Paramedic saves sister’s life after she suffers heart attack at wedding

Stephen Porzio


The 48-year-old went into cardiac arrest at a wedding in Cork.

A Cork paramedic helped save his sister’s life after she suffered a heart attack while attending a wedding.

The incident occurred last August at a hotel in Youghal to then 48-year-old Eithne Minihane who told her story this week to Cork’s 96FM.

Eithne was at the wedding of her sister-in-law and had been dancing with her niece.

However, when she got off the dance floor, she had an “unusual” pain in “all her teeth” that stopped her in her tracks.

Feeling “hot and agitated”, she returned to her hotel room with her husband Chris and went straight into the bathroom to throw up.

Eithne then told the programme she felt a pain in her chest, first assuming she had pulled a muscle from vomiting.

It was at this point that Chris said he would ring Eithne’s brother Kieran, who is a paramedic and was also at the wedding.


Paramedic in Ireland saves sister’s life after she suffers heart attack at wedding

In the moment, Eithne had told her husband not to phone her brother, explaining: “‘Do not ring him’, I said. ‘It’s no big deal… I’ll feel better. I’ll get into bed.'”

Knowing from looking at his wife, however, that something was not right, Chris sought Kieran – who came to the scene and called for more paramedics.

Speaking about her brother, Eithne said: “He had poker face on. Everything was all very calm and cool… Then the paramedics arrived.

“They hooked me up to the ECG… At that point, I was having a heart attack apparently.”

While being helped by another of the paramedics in the bathroom to get out of her clothes, which had begun to feel “too tight” and “claustrophobic”, Eithne went into cardiac arrest.

Speaking about this moment, Kieran explained: “We were on her chest doing compressions and we got three shocks into her. We did about six minutes of CPR in her. We got her out of cardiac arrest.

“Shortly after that, then she was coming around. She didn’t come around fully but she was coming around. So, we had her heart back into a rhythm.”

As for how he stayed so calm given the circumstances, Kieran told the show:

“I’m in my 16th year now in the job. So, as I’ve said. I’ve gone through an awful lot of cardiac arrests down through the years but when it is your own sister, when it is your own family, it’s a different kettle of fish.

“But we’re very well trained and I think the training really really just kicked in.”

Now 49, Eithne is back to full health and joked about Kieran: “I suppose I better say thank you so everyone hears it.

“Yeah, he’s great. Best brother ever.”

National Ambulance Service Community Engagement Manager Ger O’Dea, meanwhile, told the programme that the incident highlighted “an important message”.

“An important message in all of it… is the speed of getting the hands on the chest doing CPR – regardless of whether your paramedic, a firefighter or the local librarian – if people just do a CPR course,” he explained.

“With 70% of these types of things happening in the home, the chances are it’s going to be a loved one.”

Main image via Twitter/Ger_O_Dea

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