Roadside heart surgeon commended after saving biker’s life

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A motorcyclist whose life was saved by emergency roadside heart surgery has personally thanked the doctor concerned in a special commendation ceremony in Cheshire.

Warrington biker John O’Brien suffered life-threatening injuries following a collision in October 2018 which was attended by numerous emergency services including Cheshire Fire and Rescue Medical Director Dr Mark Forrest.

Just prior to being loaded into an air ambulance, O’Brien went into cardiac arrest and Forrest, unable to revive him, decided the only option was to perform a procedure rarely attempted outside of the operating theatre.

Forrest cut open O’Brien’s chest allowing him to treat the internal bleeding and manually massage his heart back to life. Fortunately, the procedure was a complete success and, within minutes, O’Brien’s heart was beating strongly and the bleeding had stopped.

O’Brien was then transferred to the Major Trauma Centre at Aintree, Liverpool, for further critical surgery. Since then, O’Brien has made a near-full recovery from his injuries and was even able to walk his daughter down the aisle when she got married last month.

And this week he was finally able to thank Dr Forrest in person during a special award ceremony held at Northwich Fire Station in Cheshire in which the doctor was also presented with a commendation for his life saving actions by Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin.

O’Brien said: “I can’t thank Dr Forrest and everyone involved enough for helping me that day and for doing everything they could to save my life.”

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