herald

Friday 2 December 2016

'Irish paramedic saved my life after balcony fall and I want to meet him', says former Donegal footballer

Oisin Merrit and Ryan Tubridy
Oisin Merrit and Ryan Tubridy

A FORMER Donegal footballer who spent months in a coma after falling from a balcony while on holiday in Spain, has told of how an Irish paramedic who just happened to come across him saved his life.

Oisin Merrit (19) was celebrating his birthday on a holiday to Santa Ponsa last year when he fell 20 feet from a balcony.

The young soccer star, from Stranorlar, had to have half his skull removed to prevent his swelling brain from killing him and has no memory between the fall and or of being in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire six months later.

He also suffered a broken neck, jaw and pelvis and a ruptured spleen.

Galway paramedic David Sullivan happened to see Oisin after he fell, and his swift treatment is credited with saving his life.

"I was out with the lads and they'd gone to get a kebab, I stayed back and I just fell … I think I fell," Oisin said.

It was then that Mr Sullivan, who had just arrived on his own holiday, happened upon the teenager.

"I owe my life to him," said Oisin (inset) who did an interview with 2fm's Ryan Tubridy yesterday.

"We've had chats on the phone and through Facebook but some day I hope to meet him," he added.

"I don't remember this but he told me that after I fell I asked him was I going to die and he said 'I'm not going to let you die Oisin'," he said.

Oisin was taken to a nearby hospital and his family flew over within 24 hours to be by his side where doctors said they didn't expect him to live.

"They said to my mum, 'Your son's hanging on to a cobweb by his baby finger and it could snap at any time.

"My aunt started to clean the house and the room and it was set to be a wake house," he added.

Oisin is hoping to have a custom bone implant put in place that would fuse with his own skull in the future, but until then he has to be very careful.

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