Delfine Persoon to the rescue – Katie Taylor rival heralded for saving a man’s life

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Delfine Persoon was thanked for breaking someones ribs for the first time earlier this week, as she helped save the life of a 79-year-old man in her home town.

The former WBC lightweight world champion and former Katie Taylor foe rushed to the rescue of Roger Haelewyn in a restaurant this week.

The teak tough boxer and Police Officer noticed the elderly man slip of his chair post his meal and when he became clear Haelewyn, who was holiday for the first time since recovering from an aneurysm, was in serious trouble she pounced to act.

The fighter’s police training kicked in and when she couldn’t find a heartbeat she began to perform CPR.

“I immediately started giving a heart massage. During my training at the Federal Police – I coordinate public order and control of violence during major events such as football matches in West Flanders – I learned how to do that. By the way, this wasn’t the first time I gave a heart massage in an emergency,” said Persoon, who was eating after a tough training session.

After a few minutes and with the emergency services en route, coach Filiep Tampere took over.

“I did mouth-to-mouth first. But it didn’t work. Something blocked the windpipe. I then gave an extra stiff breath and suddenly the air could get through and we saw the man’s chest and stomach rise and fall again. He was saved. Delfine then took over the heart massage again.”

By the time the ambulance arrived the elderly man was back conscious. he was taken to the hospital were he remained for three days. Doctors couldn’t explain the heart failure, but they didn’t need to try and explain why he had three broken ribs.

In terms of boxing, Persoon returned to winning ways beating ‘The Iron Lady’ Helen Joseph last month. She has called for a rematch with Taylor, but has also been talking about entering the Olympics.

It was initially thought the undisputed rematch would take place next Summer, but the now two weight world champion from Bray has a number of big fight options to explore.


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: