Irish woman saved man's life ahead of Ireland All Blacks clash 10 months ago

Irish woman saved man's life ahead of Ireland All Blacks clash

The woman is being hailed as a hero in New Zealand.

An Irish woman saved the life of a man in New Zealand ahead of Ireland’s first Test match against the All Blacks on Saturday (2 July).


Sarah Hartigan, 42 and from Limerick, was working as a tour manager with Rugby Travel Ireland at the time and was at a function at a bar close to Eden Park stadium where the rugby clash took place.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, she said that while there before the match, she heard a crash outside.

"When I went down, I could see someone slumped in the car. His daughter was there and she was upset. People were calling to call an ambulance," Sarah recounted.

"So I just went over to help... I just jumped in and started doing compressions. I tried to see could we get him out of the car but the way the car was set, we really couldn’t manage that.


"I just got the seat back as best we could and just gave the compressions."

Sarah said the man regained consciousness within a minute or two and joked that there was "no kiss of life" but only chest compressions instead.

"I had a little bit of training... I worked in the US sport arena for a number of years - would have had a bit of lifeguarding. Again, working in sport you need this training," she added.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the man was 56-year-old Dean Herewini and that it is estimated his heart stopped beating for at least a minute.


His family says he is still in hospital with doctors planning to stabilise his erratic heart rate through shock treatment.

They also stated that they are "so humble and grateful" for Sarah's quick thinking.

Reflecting on the incident, the Limerick woman told Newstalk Breakfast:

“The most important thing is bringing awareness to how important this is. Even the basics can save a life.


"You don’t need to know a whole amount about CPR to help.

“I know the percentage of people surviving outside of a hospital is pretty low, but this just proves that it can be done, that basic compressions on a chest can bring somebody back to get them to the right place where they can be looked after."