It sounds like something from a TV medical drama, but it is real – a heart surgeon saved a man’s life by performing open heart surgery on the side of the road. Dr. Mark Forrest took the drastic action to save John O’Brien, 47, who crashed his motorcycle, Ride Apart reported.

As rescue workers in England were about to load O’Brien into a medical evacuation helicopter, he went into cardiac arrest. Forrest was on the scene because he is the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Medical Director.

“I joined them at John’s side and, after a very quick discussion, we knew that the only chance of saving this man was to open up his chest to manage his internal injuries and to massage his heart until it started beating,” Forrest said. “This is rarely successful, but we did want to at least try.”

The doctor took out his surgical instruments and performed open chest heart surgery right there on the side of the road.

“John’s chest was completely cut open, exposing his heart and lungs, to allow treatment of his internal bleeding, lung injuries and to massage his heart back to life,” the Cheshire Fire and Rescue confirmed, according to Ride Apart.

O’Brien was then airlifted to the Major Trauma Centre at Aintree in Liverpool, where additional surgery was performed. He has since made a full recovery and was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her recent wedding.

“I can’t thank Dr. Forrest and everyone involved enough for helping me that day and for doing everything they could to save my life. I was lucky enough to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle recently and that’s all thanks to them,” he said, according to International Fire Fighter.


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