Belfast Telegraph

Epileptic who took seizure in Derry street thanks strangers who saved his life

By Claire O'Boyle

A man from Londonderry has said he wants to personally thank the people who helped him after he had a serious seizure.

Niall Cullen (22) suffered an epileptic fit in the early hours of yesterday.

He was told by paramedics that passers- by had called an ambulance and stayed with him until help arrived.

"Things could have worked out so differently," said the call centre worker, who blacked out in the freezing cold.

"The paramedics said I was heading for hypothermia and that they had to use aluminium sheets to treat me.

"The last seizure I had was a few months ago, so they're not an everyday occurrence for me and they're pretty unpleasant."

Niall explained one of the most common effects of his seizures is memory loss, meaning he has no recollection of the people who helped him after his collapse in Moore Street in Derry.

"I just want to thank them, because without them I could have been lying outside in the freezing cold all night," he said.

"My family are just so thankful because you just don't know how these things will turn out, and instead of me having a bit of a tough night, it could have been a lot worse."

Niall had finished work at 8pm on St Patrick's Day before going for some drinks.

"I don't drink much anyway, because I'm quite slight in my build," he said.

"So after four drinks to celebrate St Patrick's Day I walked up to my friend's house, where I planned to stay for the night.

"I could see the lights were on inside, but I was knocking and knocking, and no one inside could hear me."

It was at this point Niall believes stress might have triggered his seizure.

"I think I must have got quite anxious and stressed, because my phone had died and it was so cold outside," he said.

"It was just after 1am and to get from there to my parents' house is about an hour and 20 minutes' walk.

"Normally a taxi would be an option, but being St Patrick's Day everything was so busy."

Unfortunately, he cannot remember anything from that point until he woke up in Altnagelvin Hospital more than two hours later.

"The paramedics told me the people who found me had waited with me," he said.

"It was so kind of them, and I really want to thank them because my parents could have been waking up to a really different situation this morning.

"The area isn't that busy, so I could have been lying there all night in the cold.

"I'd love to get in touch with them directly and tell them it meant a lot, and that we're really grateful for their help."

Belfast Telegraph

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