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Sunday 22 July 2018

'They're heroes' - pair walked 4km through snow to get kid to hospital

Logan Shepherd with hero Corporal Steve Holloway
Logan Shepherd with hero Corporal Steve Holloway

A soldier and paramedic have been hailed as "heroes" after they walked 4km in the height of Storm Emma to escort a sick child to hospital.

Corporal Steve Holloway (30) and paramedic Declan Cunningham were called in an emergency to take Logan Shepherd (7), who has complex medical needs, from his rural home to hospital last Friday night.

However, as they headed up a back-road near Cleariestown, in Co Wexford, they realised both routes to the house were impassable even with the use of snow-chains.

Given the seriousness of Logan's illness, the pair decided to proceed toward the house by foot, with Logan and his mother Louise making their way in the opposite direction.

Operation

Louise then decided they would have to call the emergency services when the electricity went off in the house and the fuel line broke on the generator.

This meant Logan could not be fed or hydrated due to his illness.

When Cpl Holloway and Mr Cunningham met up with the family, Louise had two bags' full of equipment needed for Logan that was not available in the hospital.

All three took turns in carrying Logan through the snow and back to the Defence Forces vehicle, with the snow up to four feet in parts.

The whole operation took about four hours.

The two men had began their long journey at 11pm, and eventually arrived at the hospital at 3am.

Speaking to the Herald, Louise said the two men were "heroes".

"The two of them are both heroes, they don't realise it," she said.

"They didn't have to come down when they saw that condition [snow] - they didn't have to carry on, they chose to carry on.

"It's really hard to get words out, unless you meet them or speak to them you wouldn't realise how lovely the two of them are.

"Logan was mesmerised by a real-life action man," she added.

Cpl Holloway said that Logan was the real hero, but he was proud to have made a difference.

Dangerous

"He was walking back behind us while the snow drifts weren't too bad, but as they got to four or five feet I had the child on my back," he said.

"He said he felt like the Hulk ploughing through the snow.

"It was just a case of by hook or by crook to get there.

"We're used to working in challenging and dangerous environments both home and abroad in the military, but when you actually get to make a difference to the community, that makes it even more worthwhile."

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