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Diarmuid O' Connell

There’s no doubt about it, without Ger being trained in CPR I wouldn’t be here today.

Diarmuid O’ Connell (on the left in the photo above) was just 23 when he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in a football match. The cardiac arrest could have killed him if his friend Gerard O’ Leary didn’t step in to save his life.

Diarmuid recalled that the day started off like any other, he was feeling physically fit and well and looking forward to playing in the match

During the match, however, Ger said he looked to his right and saw Diarmuid lying flat on the ground gasping for air. He wasn’t breathing properly and his lips were turning blue.

Luckily for Diarmuid Ger had undergone CPR training and knew exactly what to do.

“I am not from a medical background in any way but I remembered I do know one thing I can do and that was to start compressions. You know you can’t do any harm and you are not going to make things worse if anything you are going to help. It’s important to be calm but also to be clear that you know what you are doing,” Ger said.

“All I had available to help was my hands and that was all I actually needed,”

Gerard O' Leary

“All I had available to help was my hands and that was all I actually needed,” Ger added.

Eleven years later and the two have become firm friends. Diarmuid is acutely aware however, that if it wasn’t for Ger’s CPR training, he may not have survived and gone on to get married and become the new dad he is today.

According to Diarmuid, “There’s no doubt about it without Ger having been trained in how to perform CPR I wouldn’t be here today.”

“I remember I asked the paramedic that was with me did we win the match and he said no Diarmuid, you won that’s all you need to worry about,” he smiled.

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