August 14, 2008
Man Saved By 58 Electric Shocks
By TOM McTAGUE
A MIRACLE dad lived after having 58 electric shocks to restart his heart during a dramatic dash to save his life.
John McCarthy, who is in his 60s, suffered five massive heart attacks before his three-hour transfer from Wexford General Hospital to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.
Amazingly just two weeks later, John - who is still seriously ill - walked from his hospital bed and went home where he is being cared for by devoted family. John's wife was still very emotional about the ordeal and said the family now just wanted some time to be together and hopefully get back to normal.
The heroic paramedics who saved John's life were praised last night for their skilful work.
A HSE spokesman said: "The HSE's emergency services are staffed by a dedicated and skilled team of professionals who, on a daily basis, provide a valued service.
"The pre-hospital management of heart attacks by the ambulance service has undergone dramatic changes in recent years."
Now all ambulances have defibrillators which have saved hundreds of lives.
Even so, the number of electric shocks given to John as he battled for his life is a medical first in Ireland.
Wexford paramedics used the defibrillator on John 38 times in the ambulance early last month.
And when he got to the Dublin hospital the battling dad was given 20 more shocks.
The miracle man, who lives near Enniscorthy, checked into Wexford General Hospital on July 1 and suffered five heart attacks.
The medical team at the hospital decided he urgently needed be taken to Dublin for specialist treatment and a Garda escort made sure the trip was not delayed.
Just 15 minutes into the journey, John suffered another heart attack and the series of powerful electric shocks began.
Astonishingly John was conscious for many of the life-saving blows to his chest.
As soon as they arrived at St Vincent's Hospital, the dad was taken straight to the operating theatre.
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