Man thanks hero paramedics during reunion with ambulance staff who saved his life

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A lorry driver has hailed paramedics who saved his life as heroes during an emotional reunion with the ambulance crew who resuscitated him.

Nine months after suffering a heart attack at his home, Colly McBrien fulfilled an ambition to meet and thank those who have given him a second chance at life.

There were tears and smiles as the 50-year-old father-of-two from Armagh embraced his lifesavers.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service used the occasion at its district headquarters at Craigavon Area Hospital to present awards to all those involved in treating Mr McBrien in the early hours of October 1 last year.

There was a special award for his wife Majella who, with guidance from an emergency call handler, performed CPR on her husband while awaiting the arrival of the ambulance crew and community first responder.

“They are all my heroes,” said Mr O’Brien. “Anyone who was involved that night are heroes. Not all heroes wear capes, as I always say, and they definitely are heroes.

“I’m over the moon - words can’t explain how I feel. How do you thank somebody who saved your life? I am just lost for words.

“I never knew any of them before - to come out and help me, a stranger, it’s more than a job.

“They keep saying they are only doing their job, but it’s not - it’s saving somebody’s life.”

Mr McBrien, who attended the event with his wife and daughter Kelly, said he was now savouring every moment of life.

“I’m making the most of things,” he said. “It opens your eyes, something like this - to come back from nearly being gone, it definitely opens your eyes, you enjoy life more and be thankful for everything.”

Paramedics Philip McFadden and Gillian Furniss and ambulance technician Kerry Gooding attended the McBrien home on the night, as did community first responder Mark Winter.