Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Dad helps bring heart defect son back to life

The father of a young man found dead by his parents on March 16 has told how his son was brought back to life.

Declan McMullan was discovered by his dad John in the bedroom of his home in Saintfield, Co Down, after suffering cardiac arrest.

John said his 20-year-old son's heart had stopped beating due to an underlying condition known as Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome.

When he found him lying on his bed, he had stopped breathing for several minutes.

Thanks to John administering CPR and the paramedics who gave Declan a total of 13 electric shocks, he started breathing again.

Sadly, because of the lack of oxygen and blood flow to his brain, Declan now suffers from brain damage and profound physical disability.

John explained that his son now suffers from Hypoxic Ischaemic Brain Injury — a condition that will have a permanent effect on Declan's physical and mental capabilities in the future.

“It was pure luck that we found him when we did otherwise he may not be alive,” he said.

“Our world has been turned upside down since this happened.

“Declan had just been accepted into university to study film. Now he is unable to eat, move, see or speak,” he said.

John explained that Declan now communicates by blinking once for yes and twice for no.

“His hearing has not been affected and he can spell words by blinking through the alphabet.

“We want to get him home but due to hospital protocol we need to adapt the house first which will cost £50,000,” he said.

John explained Declan will require round the clock supervision when he returns home. The family simply cannot afford to pay for the adaptations and have held fundraising events to remedy this.

“The money raised so far has allowed us to buy a new vehicle and have it adapted for Declan.”

John said the family is allowed to bring Declan, who is currently in Musgrave Park Hospital, home for a few hours on Christmas day.

Anyone who would like to speak to John can contact him on 07740 510 111.

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