An off-duty nurse has been praised as a “hero” for saving the life of an elderly man who suffered a suspected heart attack in a Co Louth village last weekend.
Francie McClorey, 85, from Newry was enjoying a day out with his daughters Laura McClorey and Fiona Larkin in the seaside village of Blackrock when he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest along the promenade.
Thankfully shouts for help were answered by off-duty mid-wife Alice Challoner who started immediate CPR until Francie regained consciousness.
However Fiona points out that the community were also amazing in offering their assistance on the day.
“Dad and mam used to bring us for Sunday drives to Blackrock for ice-cream from Newry when we were children and we also spent most of our summers in Bettystown, Co. Meath,” she said
She recalled the moment her father became ill.
“Dad suddenly said that he was blind and he doesn’t remember anything else. I was lowering him onto the ground and shouting for help when two ladies came rushing over. One of the ladies said she was a midwife from Dundalk.
“In her opinion, she thought Dad was in the middle of a cardiac arrest and performed CPR straight away until he regained consciousness. Meanwhile, someone had called an ambulance and someone else had ran up the road to get the defibrillator
“My young son and niece were with me and were very distressed and people instinctively just took them away from the scene and reassured them that all was going to be okay.
“When the ambulance took Dad, people went out of their way to give us directions to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where Dad remained until last Tuesday when he was released but is undergoing continued outpatient assessment and medication.
I honestly don’t know if Dad would be here today if Alice wasn’t there. She was our angel who was in the right place at the right time to save Dad’s life.
“She is such a lovely woman and knew exactly what to do. You can tell she’s a midwife, she just has that lovely nature about her.”
In the rush, Fiona forgot to ask Alice’s surname so her family could thank her and so a call went out on social media to find her, which was shared 1,000 times.
“Thankfully we tracked her down and she was delighted to know that Dad was doing okay. We met Alice briefly when she came to the hospital to visit Dad but we intend to meet up with Alice when Dad has fully recovered and thank her properly.
“We’d also like to say thank you to the community of Blackrock. Everyone who passed asked if they could help, or get water or anything at all. We don’t know the names of everyone who helped that day but we sincerely thank them and will always remember them.”
“And of course, we have to give sincere gratitude to the paramedics and hospital staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital who cared for and looked after Dad with such care and professionalism.”
Alice said: “I was just so glad to be there when I was needed and that I could help in some way. I was thinking of him for the rest of the day and was wondering how he was getting on so I was chuffed when the girls got in contact to tell me he was doing okay.”