A woman brought her partner back from the dead by giving him CPR – despite not being fully trained in how to perform the life-saving technique.
Carrie Henehan found Mike McNally collapsed and without a heartbeat in their Kirkton home on Saturday May 15 after he returned from a run.
The 47-year-old was “clinically dead” before Carrie carried out compressions non-stop for eight minutes – breaking three of his ribs in the process.
Following five days in intensive care, Mike is now resting at home with his recovery being described as a “miracle”.
And although she managed to keep oxygen flowing to the brain, Carrie said she had no idea how to perform CPR but was talked through the procedure on the phone by ambulance staff.
Carrie, 42, said: “Basically he went out for a run on the Saturday and came back as normal, cracking jokes.
“He went to jump into the shower and I just heard a thud. It didn’t really sound like Mike collapsing but I found him in the hall outside the bedroom.
“I phoned an ambulance and started doing CPR. I kept everything flowing, doing CPR for about eight minutes.
“I didn’t actually know CPR and never in my life did I think I would have to do it.
“I always thought if I was ever in this position I would freeze but I knew I had to do what I could to save him.”
Mike, a health care assistant at Perth Royal Infirmary, had suffered a blood clot which triggered a heart attack, causing a cardiac arrest, despite previously showing no signs of illness.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart is suddenly unable to pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs, causing the person to lose consciousness and their pulse.
Carrie described the “nightmare” of waiting to see if Mike had suffered any significant damage to the brain.
She added: “He was in intensive care for five days but they got him out. The doctors and nurses honestly can’t believe it. The word ‘miracle’ has been talked about.
“It was a nightmare being in that situation not knowing what was going to happen but he’s responded to everything amazingly.
“We were worried how he was going to be standing up but he’s been up and about, he’s so determined.
“There’s some short-term memory loss but there has been no major damage to the brain. I remember when he woke he was just so shocked.
“He’s lost about two days but maybe it’s good that he doesn’t remember it.
“He had absolutely no symptoms at all and there wasn’t anything that we had missed.”
Despite the traumatic experience, Carrie hopes other people will be inspired to learn CPR and potentially save a life.
She added: “I just hope after all of this it will encourage more people to learn CPR. That is what saved Mike and in these situations it’s absolutely crucial to keep someone’s blood flowing while they’re unconscious.
“In my case, I had been shown before and I took some of it in but not all of it – but luckily I was able to put it into use.
“I would just urge everyone to learn it and become familiar with it because you never know.”