Communion girl Carly thanks heroes who saved her life

by Sylvia Pownall

A young Clondalkin girl took time out on her Communion day thank the heroes who had saved her life.

Seven-year-old Carly O’Brien suffered a cardiac arrest at The Mill Shopping Centre just before Christmas.

Security staff from Manguard Plus Dan O’Brien, 59, and Danny O’Leary, 64, along with an off-duty lifeguard, performed CPR on the stricken youngster until paramedics from Dublin Fire Brigade arrived. 

Carly dropped in to thank the Tallaght-based DFB crew on her special day who had a special word of thanks for the Mill Centre staff who provided advanced life support using a defibrillator.

Ex prison officer Danny O’Leary told Dublin Gazette: “It was Christmas and the Mill centre was very busy…full of shoppers. There was music and the little girl Carly was dancing to the music.

“Suddenly she stopped and fell to the ground. Myself and Danny O’Brien rushed over to help. Danny was brilliant, he just took charge. I started mouth compressions and Danny worked on chest compressions.  

“There was huge panic from people around us but we stayed calm, and that is the key. We knew what to do to give the little girl a fighting chance.

“Staff from the pharmacy were fantastic, they got a defibrillator. Gerry Mulcahy, the centre manager was brilliant, as was an off duty lifeguard, Conor.

“Everybody rallied round to help. We got a sheet to offer the little girl some privacy. In the meantime the Dublin Fire Brigade were on the way and Carly was taken to hospital where she made a full recovery thank God.”

He added: “It was a terrible thing to happen to a little child but wonderful the way she was saved and it just shows the huge importance of having first aid and CPR skills.

“I was so, so grateful for all the training I have received over the years. I would urge anybody to do basic training in first aid and CPR as you just never know when they will come into use.”

Sean Hall, MD of Manguard Plus, said: “The officers stayed calm and cool and helped to save the little girl’s life. They are fantastic lads.”   

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