Kilkenny heart attack vicitim's life saved by gym instructor

Heart stooped for six minutes

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Gift of life

Theodore ‘Tad’ Prince with the man who saved his life, Dermot O'Rourke at Top Pro Gym PICTURE: PAT MOORE

A man whose heart stopped beating for six minutes after suffering a cardiac arrest has received the best Christmas present ever.
Fast thinking Dermot O’Rourke of Top Pro Gym on New Street, Kilkenny immediately recognised that Theodore A. Prince (Tad) had suffered a heart attack in the gym.
Dermot realised all was not well and contacted the Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
He returned and began CPR on the man affectionately known as Tad.
Six minutes later the EMS team defibrillated his heart back and within 11 minutes he was in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny.
“An alignment of the stars would be the best way of describing the luck I experienced after my heart attack,” Tad said.
“Dermot saved my life. His knowledge of CPR was crucial to me not suffering permanent brain or heart damage.
“Somehow, a card and a box of chocolates falls short of the mark,” Tad added.

“ I now find myself being given a second chance and am determined to utilise my energy, focus and intelligence ‘paying it back’ into the community.
“ What form this is going to take, is still vague. Please allow me a little slack, as I only got out of the hospital last week. I want my recompense to be appropriate and poignant,” he said.
The 47-year-old had, until his attack, perfect health, ate properly and exercised on an almost daily basis.
“ I do not smoke and I do not drink to excess. On 26 September 2017, as part of my annual Aviation 1st Class Medical evaluation, I had a full set of blood work ups accomplished.
“Blood cholesterol levels were better than reference ranges. My resting heart rate was around 46 beats per minute with blood pressure measurements of 118/78.
“If you were to tell me that I was going to suffer a major cardiac arrest I would have looked at you incredulously.
“This life altering event, has caused me to pause and take stock. What will I do differently? How can I make the time I have left more valuable? Will I continue as before, or will I become more self-aware? Ian Fleming said, “You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.”
Tad is intent on making a difference.