By Louise Walsh
A Co Louth couple have been hailed as heroes after they saved the life of a heart-attack victim in Drogheda.
Mark McDonnell and Laura Armada Buch from Termonfeckin have been sincerely thanked by the family of the man who collapsed behind the wheel whilst driving with his wife in a packed carpark of the M1 Retail Shopping Plaza.
The couple's quick actions enabled Mark to stop the swerving car before it crashed, while Laura then performed CPR for 10 minutes until the emergency services arrived.
Laura and Mark's two children had seen the drama unfold and later that evening Mark caught his youngest son performing CPR on a water bottle.
In the clip, Izan explains to his dad that he saw his mum save a man's life and he would do CPR too until the man started breathing, adding that the water bottle, unfortunately, has no bones!
The drama unfolded at 1.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday last when Mark, Laura and their two sons Dylan (8) and Izan (4) were coming from a swimming lesson the retail park.
Laura, 37, explained that it all happened 'in a flash', as she was putting the children in their car.
"Mark, 46, noticed a car that was making a funny noise coming around the corner. All of a sudden he took off over to the car when he saw the driver fall back in the seat.
"As the car swerved, he pulled the handbrake and took the keys from the ignition so it wouldn't crash. I saw him ringing the emergency services and ran to see if I could help"
Laura, a well-known local fitness instructor and juice producer, is highly trained in first aid and jumped in to help.
"The man had turned purple in the face and was struggling to breathe. I was looking for a pulse but couldn't find one.
"Other people had come on the scene at that point and I asked some men to lift him out of the car so I could perform CPR.
"The emergency services were also telling Mark to keep up CPR until the ambulance arrived."
Laura continued with the treatment for 10 minutes until paramedics got a pulse with a defibrillator and rushed him to hospital.
"It all happened so fast. His wife was also in the car and I think she was in a shocked state. Other people were making sure she was OK. I just remember thinking that he may not make it, but that I was going to give it my best shot to save him."
The couple were delighted to hear that the man was transferred to a Dublin hospital for a triple bypass and is now recovering well.
"His wife got in touch to thank us and her husband wants to meet up when he's able."
When contacted, the man's wife said they preferred to keep their identity anonymous, but added that her husband was recovering and that they would like to publicly say a huge thanks to Laura and Mark for all they did.