THE quick-thinking actions of her neighbour and a local GAA club saved the life of a Rathvilly woman when she was gripped by a sudden heart attack.
Anne Hanks of Slaney Banks, Rathvilly admits that without the prompt actions of her community and Rathvilly GAA’s defibrillator, her life would have slipped away.
On Sunday 12 April, Anne was at home when she was struck by a sudden and severe heart attack. Within minutes, her son-in-law Jimmy Maher, who also lives in Slaney Bank, and fellow neighbour Johann Doyle bravely preformed CPR on Anne, while her daughter Aisling Maher ran to the nearby Rathvilly GAA dressing rooms to get the defibrillator.
Aisling returned to Anne within minutes, joined by John Kenny of JFK Sports Rehabilitation, the club’s physio and Rathvilly GAA’s AED (automated external defibrillator).
The defibrillator was immediately used on Anne and kept her alive, along with continuous CPR, until the ambulance arrived.
“She was just so lucky that the right people were there at the right time,” praised Sophie Kelly, Rathvilly GAA’s health and wellbeing officer.
“It’s such a good news story of how they saved a life and how having the defibrillator is just so important in a community,” she added.
Following several weeks in St James’s Hospital, Dublin, where a medical procedure was performed to regulate Anne’s heart, the lucky Rathvilly woman has recovered very well.
Last week, she was in Rathvilly GAA Club to thank all involved in saving her life, in particular Jimmy Maher, Johann Doyle, John Kenny and Rathvilly GAA.
In fact, Anne was so grateful to see the little machine to which she owes her life that she even kissed it with joy!
Anne was joined by her husband Alan, her daughter Aisling and son-in-law Jimmy and extended family.
Rathvilly GAA chairperson Donal Kelly presented Anne with flowers, while a presentation was also made to Margaret Kehoe and Patricia Kehoe, who raised funds for the defibrillator, and Johann Doyle, who gave a demonstration to club members on the defibrillator’s use following this incident.
Because the AED saved her life, David Greville of Heart Safety Solutions, who supplied the club’s defibrillator, presented Anne with another AED to use as she wishes.
Since the incident, Rathvilly GAA Club has replaced the pads and has serviced its defibrillator. It is available to anyone who should need it by contacting 087 7931093, 085 1845649 or 087 1302587.