Dr Donal helps pas­sen­ger suf­fer­ing from heart at­tack


A GAA star has been hailed a hero for as­sist­ing dur­ing a med­i­cal emer­gency on a flight from Aus­tralia to New Zealand.

Lim­er­ick foot­ball cap­tain Donal O’sul­li­van was fly­ing from Mel­bourne to Welling­ton when a man in his early 50s fell se­ri­ously ill a few rows in front of him.

The GAA player, who has worked as a doc­tor at Gal­way Univer­sity Hospi­tal, rushed to help the man who was thought to have been suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack.

Donal pro­vided med­i­cal as­sis­tance and ad­vised the pi­lots to re­turn to Mel­bourne for an emer­gency land­ing.

The Lim­er­ick cap­tain said: “It wasn’t look­ing good and we didn’t have a lot of equip­ment on the plane.

“I ended up putting a line in him, giv­ing him oxy­gen, giv­ing him flu­ids, a few ba­sic things – but all harder to do with the space con­fine­ment. We were only 30 min­utes from Mel­bourne so we ended up turn­ing around the plane.”

Donal moved to New Zealand at the end of the sum­mer and was in Mel­bourne to play in the Aus­trailasian GAA Cham­pi­onships.

He was joined on the flight by fel­low Lim­er­ick man Kevin Crow­ley who heaped praise on the mod­est sports ace.

He told the Lim­er­ick Leader: “We took a team from Welling­ton and Hutt Val­ley to play in the Aus­tralasian GAA cham­pi­onships. Donal, who only joined re­cently as he was only work­ing in Welling­ton for a few months, came along with us. On the way home a man with his fam­ily started suf­fer­ing from what looked like a heart at­tack.

“Donal, who was a few seats ahead of him, seen what was hap­pen­ing and came back to him and helped him out.

“He in­structed the plane be turned around for an emer­gency land­ing and stayed with him, keep­ing him alive un­til we landed and an am­bu­lance came. Thank­fully the man is alive.

“He [Donal] is a gen­tle­man and an ab­so­lute credit to Lim­er­ick GAA.”

Lo­cal me­dia con­firmed the Boe­ing 737-800 landed safely in Mel­bourne and the ill pas­sen­ger was met by am­bu­lance.

PRAISE O’sul­li­van

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