Save the lives of women nationwide with free CPR training

Today is International Women's Day

Save the lives of women nationwide with free CPR training

To mark International Women’s Day which is today, the Irish Heart Foundation has launched a campaign featuring the story of Rosaleen Walsh, who survived a cardiac arrest in 2016.

The charity is urging women and men around the country to learn how to save a woman’s life this month by attending a free Hands for Life CPR course.

Rosaleen Walsh from Ballymote, Co. Sligo is able to celebrate International Women’s Day this year thanks to the lifesaving skills of Jeanette Gray and Therese O’Grady.

In 2016, Rosaleen suffered a cardiac arrest while completing a charity cycle event in Westport. Luckily fellow cyclist Jeanette, shortly followed by Therese, arrived and performed CPR with until an air ambulance arrived on the scene.

Speaking at the launch of the video, Rosaleen said: “It was a lovely morning and I felt great, but after cycling 20km, I felt very tired and then had an overwhelming shortness of breath. I was told I collapsed, fell off my bike and went into cardiac arrest, and then I woke up in Intensive Care. If Jeanette and Therese were not there and I had not received the high-quality CPR I did for 27 minutes, I would not be alive today. I’m able to lead a very active life with my children because of CPR.”

Jeanette performed lifesaving CPR on Rosaleen and said “I could feel no pulse and I knew I had to proceed with compressions until emergency services arrived. We don’t realise how important our hands really are and how easy it is to learn the skill of CPR. I would urge people to participate in the free Hands for Life course, it’s essential.”

Hands for Life is a free Irish Heart Foundation CPR training programme supported by Abbott and ESB Networks which provides training on how to recognise and react in a cardiac emergency. Hands for Life training courses take place in community centres, workplaces, clubs and venues across Ireland. The training course takes just under one hour to complete and attendees will learn:

How to recognise a cardiac arrest
How to perform compressions, including hands-on practice on a CPR training manikin
How to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
How to respond to a choking emergency
How to recognise a stroke
Brigid Sinnott, Resuscitation Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “Every day in Ireland 13 people die from a cardiac arrest, which can happen in the home, community or workplace. This March, we are urging men and women around the country to mark International Women’s Day by learning how to save a woman’s life with a free Hands for Life CPR course. CPR is a life-saving skill and in a cardiac emergency, can be the difference between life or death. By performing compressions quickly, you can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.’’

Conor Murphy, Site Director, Abbott, said: “At Abbott, we work to keep hearts healthy with our life-changing technologies and by empowering communities to prevent non-communicable diseases, here in Ireland and around the world. We know CPR saves lives, and by providing CPR training to 100,000 people through “Hands for Life”, we can provide people across Ireland with the practical knowledge they need to step in and save a life in the most serious of situations.”

Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Customer Delivery, ESB Networks, said: “ESB Networks is proud to partner with the Irish Heart Foundation to support the Hands for Life programme.  As a company we want to make a genuine difference to the communities and people we serve. If you are there when someone goes into cardiac arrest you are their best hope. CPR is an easy skill to learn, once you know how to do it, you could potentially save a life.”

Hands for Life training courses are free and open to all adults aged 18 and over. To sign up for a course and to view Rosaleen and Jeanette’s story, visit

Communities, workplaces and clubs who have 90 or more people interested in a free Hands for Life training course can contact the Irish Heart Foundation directly on 01 668 5001 or to arrange a training course in their locality.

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