By David Raleigh
The family of a boy whose life was saved by a neighbour after his heart stopped have said they are hopeful their son can make a "positive" recovery.
Glen Carey, 12, was brought back to life by neighbour Amanda Begley, 20, after he collapsed in a field next to her home on Sunday night.
The young woman performed life-saving CPR on Glen, from Yeats Avenue, Limerick, until paramedics arrived 20 minutes later.
According to Mike Carey, the outlook for his son's recovery is "looking better and better every hour".
It is believed his heart stopped at least four times, but he was dramatically brought back to life by Amanda and later by paramedics. His heart stopped a further two times in hospital, his father said.
Mike said today that doctors at Crumlin Children's Hospital, where Glen is being kept in an induced coma, are beginning the process of slowly waking him up.
"We are getting better news today. The doctors are confident he will wake up fully. They will wait to see how his brain is then, because when his heart stopped there would have been a lack of oxygen to the brain.
"The fact he is already trying to open his eyes and is moving his body is very positive news. They have to keep him sedated for now and slowly bring him around," Mr Carey said.
"There is a camera at the back of his heart (and) he is still attached to the ventilator on the life-support machine, but he has already tried to open his eyes and he is already moving his legs, which doctors feel is a good sign," he added.
Mr Carey said it was "a miracle" Amanda Begley, who was trained in first aid, was so close to his son when he suddenly lost consciousness.
He added: "I rang her today to thank her. She is just simply fantastic. I'm paying for her to have a holiday to Spain or wherever."
It is believed Glen, an avid boxer with his local Southill boxing club, had unknowingly been living with an enlarged heart and an irregular heartbeat.
Mr Carey said once his son is well enough to leave hospital he will be on medication for the rest of his life, but hoped he would fully recover enough to live a relatively normal life.
Of the doctors treating Glen he said: "I've just come from his unit and there were 21 doctors around him. He couldn't be in a better place at the moment.
"We are in the process of slowly taking him off of life support. I understand he will have to undergo an operation in three or four weeks time which will pass an electric current to his heart from his spine."
Mr Carey said all he, his wife Norma and their family wished was for Glen to have a happy, healthy Christmas.
"I just came out of Mass and I was praying and praying. I don't think I've prayed as much in my life," he said.
"I don't care if (Glen) will be on medication for the rest of his life. The main thing is that we get him home."