A defibrillator funded by a donation made by a cardiac
arrest survivor has been installed at an entrance to Swan Walk in
Horsham, West Sussex.
The life-saving equipment, which can be used by anyone if
someone suffers a cardiac arrest, has been placed at the West
Street entrance to Swan Walk, next to Wilkinsons. The town centre
is now covered by defibrillators at the new location as well as the
Carfax entrance to Swan Walk and by a third defibrillator managed
by shopping centre staff.
Neil James, from Horsham, donated money for South East Coast
Ambulance Service (SECAmb) to purchase a defibrillator after his
life was saved by ambulance crews when he was on a fishing trip
near Uckfield in August last year.
The installation of the new defibrillator was officially marked
when Neil was joined by representatives from Swan Walk and Horsham
Heartsafe to unveil the defibrillator on Friday (5 February).
Horsham Heartsafe was established last year to improve cardiac
arrest survival rates across the Horsham District. The work
includes increasing the number of Public Access Defibrillators
(PADs) and CPR awareness.
Neil said: “I would like to see far more defibrillators
accessible for the public to use in an event of real emergency.
Without doubt these pieces of equipment save lives. In an event of
real emergency the general public should not be frightened to use
them. I’ve been told they are simple to use and my family have
learned how to use them. By intervening and helping the person with
this piece of kit you are giving them a real chance to live.”
Swan Walk Centre Manager Gill Buchanan said: “The safety of our
customers is always a priority for the team at Swan Walk and the
centre has for many years had on site equipment with all security
officers being defibrillator trained. We are therefore delighted to
be able to host the two public access defibrillators and it is
especially poignant that one has been funded by a donation from
someone who directly benefitted from this critical equipment.”
Horsham GP, Dr Liz Fisher, from Park Surgery added: “I’m
delighted that this defibrillator has been donated by a Horsham
resident after surviving a cardiac arrest and being successfully
defibrillated with a similar machine. Effective CPR and early
defibrillation with a defibrillator like this one doubles your
chances of going home alive from hospital after having a cardiac