DONEGAL GAA

Lightning medical response saves Kilcar mentor after dramatic airlift to Altnagelvin hospital

Seamus Gallagher says he was "lucky to be alive"

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Lightning medical response saves Kilcar mentor after dramatic airlift to Altnagelvin hospital

Helicopter in Towney for airlift on Sunday

From his hospital bed in Letterkenny today, Seamus Gallagher told the Donegal Democrat - "I'm a very lucky man," the surgeons told me. "They said I wasn't far away (from death)."
One of Donegal's best known football men, Gallagher, was at the centre of a dramatic airlift on Sunday last from Towney pitch in Kilcar.
The Kilcar mentor took ill suddenly after his side's home game with Milford and was airlifted by helicopter to Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry, where surgery was performed on arrival and he was back in the recovery ward within 15 minutes.
The former county footballer says he got no warning and was kicking the ball during the warm-up before Sunday's All County League Division One game at home to Milford.
"It was only in the huddle after the game that I felt a sensation and something coming over me.
"Then back in the dressing room Barry (Doherty) was giving his after match speech and I went to get some water. On the way back I just fell," said Seamus.
It was then that the network of medical assistance kicked in. The Kilcar physio Emma McSweeney took control initially, helped by Eamonn Doherty until the ambulance arrived. Then Miriam Curran and her medical team decided that a helicopter was needed.
"They were all excellent and I'm deeply indebted to them."
The helicopter arrived within 20 minutes, and the journey time to Altnagelvin was 18 minutes, followed by 15 minutes in theatre - a timescale that meant that Seamus Gallagher survived.

See Donegal Democrat tomorrow for the full story