Heart attack spurs John, 82, into action
Published on: 01 Jul 2016
AN 82-year-old great-grandfather is hoping to raise money to get a heart defibrillator installed on a busy road after witnessing a woman suffer a near-fatal cardiac arrest in the street.
John Thorne, who lives in Brockworth Cresent, Stapleton, has so far raised £400 in donations from a local business and community group but hopes to raise more in a bid to buy the life-saving equipment.
Mr Thorne, who worked as a telephone engineer at Rolls Royce, said: “Recently a lady had a heart attack on Frome Valley Road outside the pharmacy and a family member gave her CPR.
“It was a worrying time while they waited for an ambulance and I thought we need something like the heart defibrillator in a location accessible for everyone.
“Since then I have written to local businesses explaining what I am trying to do and to ask for donations.”
Mr Thorne, who has lived in Stapleton for more than 50 years, is hoping to install the lifesaving device outside the pharmacy on Frome Valley Road.
“It isn’t a council issue I have been told, so as long as I have permission from the pharmacy it can go ahead. I just need the donations now,” he added.
A top of the range heart defibrillator costs around £4000. More basic equipment costs about £1600.
There are a number of defibrillators around the area, including one at the White Lion on Frenchay Common, another at the village hall and one on the UWE campus. Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council has recently installed one of the devices in the village centre.
Mr Thorne said: “It isn’t just older people who suffer heart attacks. The lady who collapsed outside the pharmacy was in her mid-forties. I think it will benefit lots of different people. I just hope we can raise enough money to buy one.”
Heart attacks cause 100,000 deaths a year in the UK and can strike anyone without warning. Less than five per cent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive but defibrillation within three minutes increases the chances of survival to more than 70 per cent.
Defibrillators are housed in remotely controlled cabinets, which have power and a secure connection over the internet so the defibrillator can be continuously monitored and the temperature maintained. The ambulance service can remotely unlock the device and send an alert to a nominated locals who can help with treating the patient until the 999 crew arrives. Anyone can use the defibrillators with telephone instruction from ambulance HQ.
There are many causes of a cardiac arrest. In young people, it might be an undiagnosed genetic defect but f