Camogie player recalls the day her marker saved her life

Michelle Herbert speaks to Off The Bench's Cliona Foley about the incident which occurred in Limerick

In October 2016, camogie player Michelle Herbert was involved in a terrifying moment on the field of play.

In the midst of action for her club Newcastle West against Tournafulla in the Limerick junior county final, Herbert collapsed.

But thanks to the quick thinking of opposition players, team-mates and the availability of a defibrillator, she survived.

Five months on, she joined Newstalk's Off The Bench presenter Cliona Foley to talk about what happened and how her life was saved.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player and on iTunes:

"About five minutes into the second half, I just felt dizzy and I put my hurley out to steady myself and I collapsed," Herbert recalls of the incident.

"I had suffered a massive heart attack and I got between six and eight defibrillator shocks and about 12 rounds of compressions and then I was airlifted to the university hospital in Limerick."

She was unconscious for almost half an hour after the collapse and in that time it was "touch and go" as Herbert explained.

The player credits the quick thinking of the player marking her that day for the fact that she is here today.

"The girl who was marking me, Sarah-Jane Joy, is a nurse and the minute I collapsed, she took off my helmet, put me into the recovery position and she knew when she took off my helmet that it wasn't a normal situation, that I hadn't just fainted. So she began compressions immediately and it's only definitely for her quick thinking and her confidence that ensured that I survived," said Herbert.

"As you can imagine, it was a crazy situation but she took control of it and got people to move back and to try and give me room. Then there was a lot of crying and screaming so that even when the defibrillator came, she made sure that there was quiet and they could actually hear what the defibrillator was saying and there were a lot of other nurses and first aiders that came and volunteered." 

She added that it was the four compressions performed by Joy prior to the arrival of the defibrillator which were key to her survival.

You can listen to the full interview by Cliona on the podcast player.

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