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Boxer Sean McLaughlin thanks off-duty cardiac nurse who saved his life in the ring

By Claire Williamson

It was a hug that said thank you for saving my life.

Amateur boxer Sean McLaughlin had an emotional reunion with the nurse who saved him when he almost died from a heart attack in the ring.

The 44-year-old 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.

The father-of-three owes his life to off-duty Downe cardiac rehabilitation nurse Roisin Dorrian who leaped in to action.

The businessman from Killough is now awaiting a triple bypass. Yesterday they were reunited in the Ulster Hospital where he awaits his surgery.

While giving his life-saver a hug, Sean said: "I am glad you were there, otherwise I was a goner."

Roisin said: "I just did what I am trained to do. It's a great feeling that I was able to save Sean's life".

Mr McLaughlin revealed that he only got involved in the fundraiser two weeks ago after someone else pulled out.

However, he had recently lost two stone and had been training regularly in the gym.

"I was doing well in the gym and felt really fit and healthy," he said.

It was at the end of his second round when he suddenly felt unwell and collapsed in the ring with a heart attack.

Roisin had just arrived to help at the event and saw the Order of Malta first-aiders go to his side.

"Then I saw they were doing CPR, and I realised it was serious," she said.

"I just dived into the ring and shouted for a defibrillator, and fortunately the Order of Malta had one. He was unconscious at that stage. I did two lots of CPR and shocked him once, and by the time the ambulance came he was beginning to come round. I am very proud that I was able to help."

Sean won't be stepping back inside the ring any time soon.

He said: "That was the beginning and the end of my boxing career. I can't remember what happened on Saturday night, I can just remember seeing the ceiling. I owe my life to Roisin, and I can't thank her enough." Despite them both living in the Ardglass area, Roisin and Sean had never met before. But now in a poignant coincidence, Sean will be discharged into Roisin's care after his triple bypass operation. Roisin joked: "He will be sick of the sight of me by then. He will see a lot of me." She added: "On a serious note, this demonstrates the importance of every public building, or event, having a defibrillator to hand."

Background

Sean McLaughlin was taking part in a fundraising boxing event on Saturday night 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.

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