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NIALL GRIMES 1976-2007

Most of you familiar with Irishman, Niall Grimes are also aware of the heart attack he suffered last Friday, September 28th while in Lexington, at the Kentucky National Horse Show. You may have also heard or read intermittent updates since and wondered about their validity. The number and variety of these reports speak to Niall's popularity, our hopes for his recovery, and our fears otherwise.

With that in mind we regret to report that his battle has been lost.

Most likely a condition developed over a period of time, Niall's heart attack was ultimately a result of arterial blockage which led to cardiac arrest. He collapsed while standing in the Annex schooling area (the closest ring to the EMT station). This location and the dedication of EMTs Tim harden, Jerry Clemons, Chris Kidd, and ambulance medics Mike and Brian (last names unknown) can be credited for Niall's initial chance of survival. After being revived twice in 45 minutes, he was stabilized at Georgetown Medical Center, then transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital, featuring one of the top cardiac care units in the nation. After receiving a stint to open the blocked artery he survived the next four days with some chemical and mechanical assistance. Based on initial CT Scans, he also survived with some hope for a return to normal life. Unfortunately the damage was too great, and after removal from life support Niall Grimes, age 31, passed at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd.

It's worth mentioning that he was never alone in his fight. At any given time there were several supporters at his side, while many others waited in adjacent rooms and hallways. From the start, close friends Declan Orpen and Niall Carrey took charge of doctor-patient relations and family communication. To their credit, Niall's graceful mother, and equally dignified brothers and in-laws were able to make the long trip from Ireland in time to say goodbye. This will allow them to also accompany his body home for a traditional evening mass, morning burial in Ireland.

Before he departs his friends may attend a prayer service held in Lexington, at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, on Harrodsburg Rd. It will take place Thursday, October 4th at 12:00p.m. His family requests that contributions be made to St. Joseph Coronary Care Unit, in lieu of flowers.

Niall Grimes will be sorely missed, but not forgotten. His kind, playful nature, and matching smile will be memorialized in a place where he displayed equal competitiveness and horsemanship, with the planting of a tree in his honor at the Kentucky Horse Park. This tribute, no doubt the first of many, will be made by William and Suzanne Mayo on behalf of the Kentucky National Horse Show.

He was a wonderful, kind person who lived the life of a horseman exactly as he wanted. We may do him the most justice by following the philosophy of one of his favorite phrases; "We're here for a good time not for a long time", and by walking away from each meeting as he did, with a simple "Cheers!"


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