Recently Kevin Coogan of Oriel Lodge made a critical decision to push the red button on his Tunstall Alarm. This decision turned out to be a potentially lifesaving one. We asked Kevin to share his experience with us. You can read Kevin’s story below:

My name is Kevin Coogan; I live in Oriel Lodge. I will be 70 in a few weeks.

On Wednesday, 4th of October, it happened. I woke at around 3 a.m. I got up to go to the toilet, and I made myself a cup of coffee. This is not unusual for me; I often wake at this time. After a bit, I went back to bed and fell asleep. I woke again at 6:30 a.m., and I just felt awful. I had an ache in both my forearms and a slight ache around my lower neck. I also felt sick and had a clammy sweat all over my body.

I didn’t know what to do. Would I ring my daughter? Or would I wait and go down to the doctor at 9 a.m.? I kept going over this in mind, but the pain was worsening, so I took a chance and pushed the red button on my Tunstall alarm.

A lovely chap answered, and I explained all to him. He told me to get my phone and stay by the monitor in my hallway as he would call an ambulance. He also reassured me he would remain on the monitor until they arrived. Within minutes, the ambulance paramedic called me. I explained all to him. He listened to all I had to say and said an ambulance was coming.

Two lovely female paramedics arrived in the ambulance and examined me in my apartment. They told me they weren’t taking any chances and would bring me to Cavan General Hospital. They loaded me into the ambulance.

I was brought into the A&E department and hooked up to the monitors. Then the doctor turned around and told me I was having a heart attack. The doctor told me they don’t do heart attacks in Cavan General Hospital, and he was sending me to the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

I went to the Mater Hospital accompanied by a doctor and nurse in the ambulance. It took just one hour and ten minutes to get to the Mater. A medical team was waiting for me in the cardiac department. Three-quarters of an hour later, I was loaded back into the ambulance on my way back to Cavan General Hospital. By 2:30 p.m., I was back in bed in Cavan. Job done, with a stent fitted.

I am home now in Oriel Lodge, well on the way to recovery. The one big lesson I learned is ‘’don’t be afraid to push the button.’’

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