Last April, local man Garret Fallon was out cycling when he suffered a cardiac arrest and came off his bike at Eadestown Church, on the Naas to Blessington Road.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating without warning and this claims about 5,000 lives in Ireland every year.
Garret, who is from nearby Rathmore, was with his brother in law David.
And it soon became apparent to cycling colleague David that Garret was in cardiac arrest so he called for help and started CPR.
Fortunately Mags Reen and Denise Tierney had just finished GAA training at the nearby Eadestown GAA club’s playing fields.
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The pair knew there was an Automated External Defibrillator (AED ) in the GAA clubhouse — because their club had availed of the GAA National Defibrillator Scheme a few years ago.
Under this scheme GAA clubs could avail of defibrillator machines at a reduced cost along with a maintenance programme in a joint initiative between the GAA and Heartsafety Solutions, a medical services and training company based at Newlands Business Park in Clondalkin.
Mags and Denise ran back to the clubhouse, retrieved the AED and returned to Garret.
Both women were trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as well as using the AED, so they assisted David and attached and used the defibrillator.
Garret required just one life saving shock from the defibrillator before Blessington First Responders as well as emergency ambulance personnel arrived at the scene.
The incident necessitated a two week hospital stay for Garret — however, thankfully, the consultants could find nothing wrong with his heart.
“The quick intervention David, Denise and Mags were crucial to my survival and rapid recovery,” said Garret.
He hasn’t been back out on the bike since April 9.
But he plans to return cycling shortly.
In the meantime he has donated a defibrillator he received from Heartsafety Solutions to the church in Eadestown.
Former soccer star, All-Ireland minor hurler and Eadestown GAA ladies senior coach Niall Quinn was on hand to receive the equipment on behalf of the church.
“We’re very proud of Denise and Mags, they did great work that day,” said Niall.