A Belfast woman has thanked the kind strangers who came to her partner’s aid after he fell into a diabetic coma while on holiday in Co Donegal.
Mary O’Connor and her partner Bobby Hughes had gone to Letterkenny for a couple of days, when they decided they would spend the afternoon at Rathmullan beach.
Bobby is a type one diabetic and needs to take insulin regularly, and in the morning he had checked his blood sugar levels, which were fine and ate breakfast without any difficulty.
However a few minutes after the couple got settled at the beach, he collapsed and quickly fell into a diabetic coma.
Mary believes that the high temperatures at the time, during the recent heat wave, may have played a factor in her partner’s condition deteriorating so fast saying that it was like a “perfect storm”.
Thankfully a few moments later, two women from Derry noticed what was wrong with Bobby and quickly came over to help Mary as she attempted to cool him down and increase his blood sugar levels.
Mary said: “We got to the beach and just got ourselves settled and ten minutes after we were there he just completely slumped and went down and I realised he had gone into a diabetic coma with his blood sugars being too low.
“It is just scary how quickly it can happen, the really severe heat is a factor, but it shows how quickly things can change.
“Thankfully there were so many people who helped us. Firstly there were two women from Derry, with one also being a type one diabetic and recognised straight away what was going on.
“I had had a bottle of glucose gel that we keep for emergencies and I was rubbing it onto Bobby’s gums because it wouldn’t have been possible for him to eat anything, while the women helped to try and cool him down in the heat.
“Some young fellas who were lifeguards were able to call an ambulance and another lady called Emma, who was a nurse, stopped by to help us as well.
“Eventually we got him into the ambulance and I started to shake from the shock of it all and a nice man, Liam McAteer, whose mum owns the pub in Rathmullan, was able to drive me to hospital after Bobby and even took me back again to get my car.”
Mary said that the staff at the Letterkenny hospital were brilliant in looking after Bobby who was able to be discharged later that day at 6.30pm.
She said that while there was much more drama in their holiday than she thought there would be, she was very touched by the kind people who came to their aid.
Mary continued: “The two girls from Derry, Emma, Liam, the ambulance men and the staff in the hospital were just very nice people. It is wonderful to know there are good people out there and we are both so thankful for all of the help that they gave us.”