Derek Bolger from Stillorgan in Dublin, survived a cardiac arrest at home in July 2017 thanks to the quick thinking of his wife Geraldine, who carried out CPR.
Geraldine and her husband Derek were both sound asleep when around midnight she noticed he was having difficulty breathing.
“I gave Derek a dig in the ribs and asked, ‘Derek are you OK?’ I got no response, so I gave him a bigger dig and shouted, ‘Derek are you OK?’ Still no response, so I sat up and turned on my bedside lamp, glanced at Derek, lifted my mobile and dialled 999. I said I need a cardiac ambulance please, my husband is having a cardiac arrest and gave them our address,” Geraldine explained.
Geraldine a nurse, then started performing CPR on her husband.
She said that the sheer force of her CPR technique probably helped Derek to survive as he was ‘under’ for so long.
“It made sure that oxygen still made it to the brain. He was not dying and that was that” she said.
" There’ s no doubt about it, CPR saved my life."
By the time the ambulance had arrived, Geraldine had been performing CPR alone for 30 minutes and was completely exhausted.
Miraculously, despite being unconscious for so long, Derek survived and went on to make a full recovery. There is no doubt that by performing prolonged CPR on her husband, Geraldine saved his life.
Geraldine said, “the best machine you have is your two hands” and she is now a strong advocate for CPR training for everyone.
“Life is more or less back to normal, I’m doing everything that I did before this incident all because of the quick action of Geraldine, getting straight in and doing the CPR. There’s no doubt about it, CPR saved my life,” said Derek.