Killough Man Saved After Heart Attack During Charity Boxing Bout

A charity night boxer from Killough died twice at a fight night in Ardglass after having a heart attack and was brought back to life by the quick actions of first aiders around 9pm  yesterday evening.

[caption id="attachment_52763" align="alignleft" width="390"]Sean McLaughlin, left, who suffered a heart attack at the end of the second round, with opponent Simon Fletcher during a charity fundraiser for the Coney Island youth football teams. Sean McLaughlin, left, who suffered a heart attack at the end of the second round of a charity boxing match with opponent Simon Fletcher for the Coney Island youth football teams. (Photo by Jim Masson).[/caption]

44-year old Killough businessman Sean McLaughlin who was helping to fundraise for the Coney Island youth soccer team, collapsed on top of the mat going back to his corner at the end of the second round of the three round match.

As the seconds checked him over when they removed his protective helmet, they saw his face had turned blue and immediately local coronary care trained nurse Roisin Dorrian present on the night leapt into the ring and gave him first aid. She used the defribrilator that the Order of Malta who were on standby had to bring him back to life… twice.

Roisin said: “My training kicked in and I responded right away. He had to be defribed twice. Thankfully he stabilised after being brough back. An ambulance was called that took him to the Royal Victoria Hospital. If it was not for the Order of Malta having a defribrilator with them on the evening I fear that we could have been almost certainly looking at a tragedy today.

“Sean did not have any signs of coronary problems previously as often happens until it is too late. He is a very lucky man. This highlights the need to ensure that there are more defribrilators in our community. One or two are just not enough. They need to be at all big events and trained people also need to be on hand. I am glad Sean is now on the path to recovery.”

A spokesperson for the Order of Malta said: “We are delighted to get into the ring to assist Sean as soon as he got into difficulties. We administered CPR right away for around three minutes then received the help of the trained nurse which was vey helpful. Thankfully he is now improving in hospital.”

Hugh Hart, Ardglass FC official explained: “This was a vey worrying time for everyone. It was the last thing that we expected to happen. We were all looking foreward to a good night’s craic in the Ardglass Community Centre. We must commend the Order of Malta and Roisin Dorria for their quick action in saving Sean’s life. We had five Order of Malta first aiders on hand who were quick on the scene to attend to Sean. Roisin is a trained coronary care nurse and that certainly helped to give Sean a better fighting chance.

“We immediately cleared the hall in the Community Centre as those attending were just aghast at what had happened. Sean is now settling well in the RVH in Belfast after treatment and I understand that he will need three stints and they will be inserted at the start of the week. He is a very lucky man. If this had happened anywhere else at a different time it may have been a very different outcome.

“It highlights the need for every effort to be made to protect the health of sporting participants and already we are looking at how we can approach the IFA, GAA and youth soccer associations who sponsor defribrilators. We will also fundraise if necessary. It is essential that training is also in place so we do need a wide group of people to come forward and do this training when the time comes.

“We understand that this is a very anxious time for Sean’s partner Sharon and his family. He has received excellent care and now stands a great chance of a speedy recovery. We wish him well.”

The Coney Island youth team is a successful venture between the two seaside villages of Killough and Ardglass. The funds raised were towards new strips and equipment for the junior footballers.