Irish Red Cross volunteers, John and Ray at Ysbyty Gwynedd, bangor, North WalesTwo Clonakilty volunteers embarked on a roundtrip of more than 500 miles to help a patient.

John O’Carroll and Ray Lyons drove from Clonakilty, county Cork, to Bangor, North Wales, to bring home a patient who had suffered a stroke whilst on holiday.

The patient, a Welsh man in his 50’s, suffered a stroke whilst watching the West Cork Rally. Following the stroke, he spent two weeks recovering in Cork University Hospital (CUH) before turning to the Irish Red Cross for help getting back to Wales. John and Ray, who are both trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), received the request from their Irish Red Cross Area Director and set about ensuring the trip would be as comfortable as possible for the patient.

On Monday, 31st of March 2014, John, Ray and their patient, set out in an Irish Red Cross ambulance from Clonakilty to Dublin. On arrival in Dublin, they were met by members of the Stena Line ferry crew, who helped ensure the patient was comfortable for his journey across the Irish Sea. A few hours later, they arrived in Holyhead, and continued their journey. Across the Welsh countryside, finally arriving at Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor, where the patient was transferred into the care of the hospital.

After returning to Clonakilty, John and Ray paid tribute to the staff at CUH, the personnel at Dublin Port, the Stena Line team, and the staff at Ysbyty Gwyneed Bangor for their assistance and professionalism.

Six weeks on, the patient is reportedly recovering well and regaining strength each day, “We wish him a speedy and steady recovery and hope to see him and next year’s rally”, said John.