Friday 24 January 2020

Cardiac arrest victim hails airport rapid responders for saving his life

From left: Alastair Hamilton, paramedic Brendan Conway, David McMillan and Sgt Keith Pedreschi at the airport
From left: Alastair Hamilton, paramedic Brendan Conway, David McMillan and Sgt Keith Pedreschi at the airport

A man whose life was saved by Dublin Airport's rapid response team after he took ill in the building has thanked them.

Passenger David McMillan suffered a cardiac arrest in the airport last April.

Speaking to Herald, Mr McMillan described how terrifying the experience was for him when he collapsed.

"I literally survived to tell the tale because of the swift action and professional training of the airport's first responders, Sergeant Keith Pedreschi and paramedic Brendan Conway," he said.

"I'm here today because of them and I want to sincerely thank them and all those at Dublin Airport who took such good care of me."

He was on his way to Uganda when he began feeling unwell and collapsed in the airport.

Staff acted quickly and used a defibrillator to revive Mr McMillan, who was then taken to the Mater Hospital.

"I hadn't felt 100pc for three or four weeks," said Mr McMillan, a Free Presbyterian Church minister in Armagh.

"Everything went very fuzzy and down I went. I had two cases and a backpack and, as I came into the airport, I just didn't feel very well.

''I think holding the cases had a lot of exertion on my heart. I knew things weren't right, I had the feeling in my chest for a few weeks."

It was later found Mr McMillan had a blockage in his left artery and had suffered a cardiac arrest.

His companion, Alistair Hamilton, began performing CPR and a passing nurse stopped and called for help.

However, Dublin Airport emergency services were quick to act and enacted a defibrillator, which woke him up.

He was travelling with ministerial colleagues and members of a mission board who were on their way to visit a school in Uganda.

A screen was put up around him in the airport to allow for privacy and space for the paramedics to do their job.

"I woke up 20 minutes later. When the my other ministerial colleagues came and saw the screen, they feared the worst," he added.


Mr McMillan was taken to hospital and a cardiologist told him he needed urgent surgery to prevent a second cardiac arrest.

Dublin Airport's defibrillator and CPR programme has saved 28 lives since it was introduced in 2003.

The emergency response for cardiac arrest training has also been rolled out to 15 taxi drivers that operate at Dublin Airport.

The airport has also funded defibrillators for several local organisations through its €10m Community Fund.

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