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Pals fought to save Dunmurry heart attack teen

Friends of a teenage boy who died after collapsing at a friend’s house battled to save his life as he lay unconscious.

The 16-year-old, named locally as Joe Maines from Hazel Crescent in Dunmurry, was at a friend’s house when the tragedy occurred on Wednesday night.

Neighbours described him as “a nice kid” who was well-known in the area.

It is understood Joe had been watching television at the house a short distance away at White Glen.

He got up to go into the kitchen but fell over, hitting his head.

Friends called for help and tried to resuscitate him while they waited for an ambulance.

He was taken to Royal Victoria Hospital but died a short time later. The Maines family were too upset to talk about the tragedy.

Parish priest Fr John Forsythe, who has been comforting Joe’s devastated friends, said they have been left deeply saddened.

“He had been round at a friend’s house and a few of them had been watching television,” he said. “It seems he went into the kitchen, fell over and banged his head.

“It is a real tragedy and his family are very saddened. It’s a nightmare for them. He was a very good wee fella, he never gave any problems.”

Fr Forsythe said Joe’s friends battled to save him while they waited for help to arrive.

“They phoned the ambulance service and took instructions on CPR, but unfortunately they could do nothing for him,” he said.

“I was with the young fellas afterwards for several hours. They were saddened and they were shocked, but they seemed well composed.”

Meanwhile stunned neighbours spoke of their shock at the tragedy.

One man who knew Joe said: “I saw him earlier in the day, he was a big strapping lad but a nice kid, it’s just awful.”

Another said: “It is terrible to happen to someone so young with their whole life ahead of them.

“You feel for the family and friends who had to witness it.”

Last night Fr Forsythe said a post mortem examination had revealed that the youngster suffered a heart attack.

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