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November 13. 2013 9:53PM

Lifesaving efforts on Dublin man to be honored

A month after a Dublin man was saved by his family, a 911 operator and first responders, a celebration of the event is planned today at 2:30 p.m. at the 911 Center at 110 Smokey Bear Blvd.

The ceremony is to include everyone who helped save 74-year-old Tom LaFortune at his Dublin home on Oct. 15, including 911 dispatcher Dan Redin, LaFortune’s son and daughter, who called 911 and performed CPR, and several of the volunteer responders from the Dublin Fire/Rescue Department.

“You stop and think about it. What do you say to somebody who saved your life? You own them everything,” LaFortune said Wednesday. “Because of them, I’m here.”

LaFortune’s wife passed away six years ago, since then he has hosted a dinner for his children in his home every Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, Oct.15, he was preparing the food, a chuck roast in the slow cooker. His son, Denis, had arrived, but had forgotten something in his car. After he went to his car, he returned to find his father sitting at the table unresponsive. When he couldn’t wake him he called 911 and reached Redin.

While speaking to Redin on the phone it was determined LaFortune was not breathing effectively so Redin instructed Denis on how to perform CPR on his father.

LaFortune’s daughter Laura assisted Denis with counting the chest compressions.

“My son is the one who saved my life. He gave me CPR and basically he kept giving me oxygen till the first responders got here,” LaFortune said.

When the Dublin Fire/Rescue rescuers arrived, Denis continued CPR until the crew had the defibrillator ready to use, LaFortune said.

They then took over and rushed LaFortune to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.

LaFortune is grateful for the volunteer crew of professionals who make up the Dublin Rescue team, he said. “I can’t say enough about them.”

LaFortune was able to return home 10 days later and his prognosis is good.

Initially they thought he had suffered a heart attack, but it turns out it was a collapsed bypass, he said.

“I had a bypass 13 years ago,” he said.

He is doing quite well at home and has even resumed some of his work as a tax preparer. It is the slow time of the year for his work, he said. He expects to be fully recovered by the time tax season is in full swing, he said.

LaFortune said he plans to read a poem at the celebration and give each lifesaver a rose.

“We’ll start off with thanks and thank you for tomorrows, cause without them, I wouldn’t be here. it’s that simple,” LaFortune said.

All are welcome to attend.

Directions to the center can be found at http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/emergservices/contactus.html.

mpierce@newstote.com


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