Belfast Telegraph

Thank you: Fit and healthy Sean saved by off-duty nurse after almost dying from heart attack in the ring

By Deborah McAleese

Looking strong and healthy after months of training, amateur boxer Sean McLaughlin was pictured squaring up to his opponent for a charity fight.

But just minutes later, the 44-year-old businessman from Killough in Co Down almost died from a heart attack in the ring, only for his life to be saved by off-duty nurse Roisin Dorrian (pictured). Mr McLaughlin, now awaiting a triple bypass, contacted Mrs Dorrian from his hospital bed to thank her for being his "guardian angel".

The married father-of-three was taking part in a fundraising boxing event on Saturday evening for the Coney Island youth soccer team at a community centre in Ardglass, Co Down, when he collapsed in the ring at the end of the second round of his bout.

First-aiders from the Order of Malta, who were on standby at the event, began CPR on Mr McLaughlin. Realising something was wrong Mrs Dorrian, a coronary care nurse, ran over to assist.

"I knew something very serious had happened. I jumped into the ring and pulled a defibrillator that was provided by the Order of Malta and used it and he was saved," said Roisin, a nurse at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.

She added: "I am very proud that I was able to help. I just did what I am trained to do. The patient has since phoned me and thanked me for being his guardian angel. I am very proud and very touched. I am very pleased that he is doing well."

Mr McLaughlin was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital before being transferred to the Ulster Hospital. His wife Sharon said last night that he was currently being monitored and was likely to have to undergo a triple bypass.

"Sean, myself and his three daughters are extremely grateful to the actions of all who assisted, gave medical help, and to the Order of Malta who provided the defibrillator. We are particularly in debt to cardiac nurse Roisin Dorrian to whom Sean owes his life," said Mrs McLaughlin.

She added: "Sean is set to make a full recovery and we have been inundated with well-wishes."

She also said that after what happened to her husband, defibrillators should be available at all large events.

In a statement the Order of Malta said: "We are delighted to have been able to get into the ring to assist Sean as soon as he got into difficulties. We administered CPR right away then received the help of the trained nurse which was very helpful. Thankfully he is now improving in hospital."

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