But yesterday, US tourist David Motte walked out of Cork University Hospital hand in hand with his wife Joy, leaving a parting gift they hope will save another life.
It follows a decision by HeartSafety Solutions, a firm which sells automated external defibrillators (AEDs), to donate one of their life-saving devices to David.
As part of its Forward Hearts programme, the firm donates a free defibrillator to survivors of sudden cardiac arrest every time one of its devices is used. The survivor then forwards this to an organisation of their choice.
David said he wants to gift his device to the Blarney Community First Responders (CFR) group who played a critical role in saving his life.
CFR volunteer Jeremy Downey, who just happened to be working near Blarney Castle on Friday, was on the scene within minutes.
Using CPR and a defibrillator, he worked alongside first aid-trained castle staff and paramedics to resuscitate David.
The couple said while they are looking forward to being reunited with their three adult sons
in North Carolina, they have forged a deep
and lasting bond with the people of Ireland.
David also revealed that while he managed to kiss a Blarney Stone trinket in his hospital bed, he hopes to organise a return trip to Ireland soon, climb the castle steps, and actually kiss the famous tourist attraction for himself.