Belfast Telegraph

Wedding band saved bride's uncle after he collapsed from cardiac arrest

Two members of an Irish wedding band helped to save the uncle of the bride at a wedding.

The Rockhill Ramblers, a Donegal-based band, were playing at the wedding of Siofra Johnston and Ben Relton in Rossnowlagh last Friday when Siofra’s uncle Alan Johnston collapsed.

“We were playing a few waltzes and Alan was waltzing around the room with his daughter and he just dropped,” band member Darren Meehan said.

“We play a lot of weddings and we’ve seen people fall over drunk but we knew this wasn’t like that straight away.”

As it happens, two members of the band knew exactly what to do.

Matthew, a qualified EMT, and Patrick, a nurse, snapped into action to help Alan.

“They started CPR and shouted to me to get the defibrillator.

“Ryan Hoey, the barman, got the defib and after we shocked him he started to wake up.”

Alan was in startlingly good form when the on-duty paramedics arrived on the scene.

“When they were taking him to the ambulance, he said to me, ‘Play on Darren, I might be back."

The band spoke to the bride and groom when Alan was taken to the ambulance, and all agreed that the band should play on and enjoy the night now that Alan was safe.

“It was a brilliant night, because he was talking away before they took him off,” Darren said.

"We all wish Alan a speedy recovery, and thanks to the nurses at the wedding who helped out as well,” he added.

Two of Alan’s nieces, Linda and Roisin, were also nurses and helped the band members with Alan.

The bride and groom were relieved and delighted that their guests were so well prepared, but they had no idea that Matthew and Patrick were qualified to assist in a cardiac arrest when they booked the band.

“It’s not exactly a selling point, but handy to have I suppose” Darren laughed.

Irish Independent

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