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Saturday 16 December 2017

'Miracle' as friends save heart attack victim Declan

A SOCCER stag party took a dramatic turn when Dublin man, Declan Bolger, had a heart attack on the pitch and was saved by his three friends.

Mr Bolger was playing in a football match last Saturday with all of his friends in Dalymount Park when he collapsed.

The stag party was organised as a surprise for groom Damien Smith, who was getting married in September, when pals from various clubs he played for came together. However, the pre-marital celebrations were completely abandoned after his friend Mr Bolger (46) suddenly became ill.

Psychiatric nurse Keith Donnelly (40) said that Mr Bolger had been playing but was off the pitch when he collapsed.

"All of a sudden he was on the ground and it looked like he was having a seizure," said Mr Donnelly. "It got more serious and he stopped moving,"

ambulance

For the ten minutes it took for the ambulance to arrive, his three friends Keith, Paul Malone and Paddy Carney all worked together to save Declan's life and performed CPR.

"We worked as a team the three of us. We got the heart going," Mr Donnelly said.

"He was coming and going and we were counting the seconds in between. There was eight seconds when nothing was happening."

Mr Bolger said that he doesn't recall anything after he collapsed.

"I'm so grateful that the boys there were fully trained in CPR and knew what to do," he said. "I'm so lucky."

The attack came out of the blue and pals were stunned that their fit friend suffered a heart attack.

"Declan is the fittest guy. You'd want him on your football team at any age," Mr Donnelly said.

"He runs regularly. It was the most horrendous thing to witness but it's amazing that it was long term friends that saved his life."

"It was absolutely frantic when we were working on him. It was a ticking time bomb, we are so lucky it happened where it did with so many people around with first-aid training."

When he arrived in hospital, it emerged that one of Mr Bolger's arteries was blocked.

Mr Bolger left intensive care on Sunday and was moved to a coronary care unit. By yesterday afternoon he was fully conscious and talking.

Keith described it as a "miracle."

jfegan@herald.ie

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