Paramedic recalls resuscitating drug user four times before fatal overdose

Coroner says Robbie Conway’s heart stopped after cocktail of methadone and liquid heroin

A Co Clare man died a little over two hours after taking a cocktail of liquid heroin and methadone, Clare Coroner’s Court has heard.

A Co Clare man died a little over two hours after taking a cocktail of liquid heroin and methadone, Clare Coroner’s Court has heard.

 

A Co Clare man died a little over two hours after taking a cocktail of liquid heroin and methadone, Clare Coroner’s Court has heard.

Paramedic John McCauley told the inquest that he tried to resuscitate Robbie Conway (30), of Kilnasoolagh Park, Newmarket-on-Fergus, on the night of April 7th, 2018.

It was the fifth time he was involved in an effort to resuscitate Mr Conway over the previous two to three years as a result of an opiate overdose, he said.

“Two of those times involved CPR as was carried out on this night,” Mr McCauley said in a deposition.

He described the “a chaotic scene” when he arrived at an apartment in Newmarket-on-Fergus after an emergency call saying that a man had stopped breathing was received.

“There were cans, bottles and prescription drugs all over the floor with alcohol spilled everywhere,” he said.

The inquest heard that Mr Conway left the apartment for about 30 minutes with his friend Mike Feeley (30) at around 7pm on the night to get drugs.

Shauna Mulqueen later spoke to the man who supplied the drugs to the two and she was told that “he poured a bag of heroin into a ‘Monster’ drink and Robbie and Mike drank it along with 40mgs of methadone”.

Falling asleep

Ms Mulqueen left the apartment at around 8pm and she said that Mr Conway, Mr Feeley and another man, Kalem Wilkie who did not take the drugs were starting to fall asleep.

Mr Wilkie said he woke up sometime after 9pm and told Mr Feeley to rouse Mr Conway so they could “have a few cans”. Mr Feeley said Mr Conway was cold and placed a blanket on him.

“I looked over and saw the colour of him. I knew by looking at Robbie that he had overdosed as I resuscitated him down at his mother’s house before Christmas,” Mr Wilkie said in his deposition.

“This would have been his fourth time overdosing. I took him from the couch on to the ground and started compressions.”

Mr Wilkie said he called for an ambulance at 9.38pm. He stopped performing CPR on Mr Conway after the third compression as blood came out of his mouth and nose.

He said Mr Conway and Mr Feely had earlier said they “got methadone and liquid heroin. I had never heard of liquid heroin”.

Mr Feeley told the inquest in a deposition that he went in the ambulance with Mr Conway “because I wasn’t sure if I had taken the same stuff as Robbie”.

Coroner Isobel O’Dea said the postmortem showed that Mr Conway died of cardio-respiratory failure and he had heroin and methadone in his system “with a concentration which might be lethal”. She said the cocktail of drugs caused Mr Conway’s heart to stop.