Life-Saving Equipment Unveiled at Community Centre
Posted: Tue, 09 Feb 2016
A heart defibrillator has been fitted to the outside of Thurnby Lodge Youth and Community Centre, for local people to use.
The centre has many elderly residents and is near a park, football clubs, schools and a shopping precinct. It is the first defibrillator in the Thurncourt ward.
The machine, which is used restore the natural rhythm of the heart when a person is experiencing dangerous arrhythmia or cardiac arrest, has been funded by Thurncourt ward councillor funding and the Thurnby Lodge District and Community Association.
Local councillors Teresa Aldred and Paul Newcombe first came up with the idea due to family members who suffer from heart disease or who are at risk of Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).
Cllr Aldred, who is at risk of SADS herself, along with her 10-year-old daughter, said: "We are delighted to have been able to get this vital piece of life-saving equipment installed for the local community.
"If people are reached within eight minutes of a cardiac arrest, they have a good chance of surviving.
"The community building is central to local people and is therefore a prime location for the defibrillator to be placed."
Cllr Newcombe added: "Myself and Cllr Aldred know people who suffer with heart disease and have been affected by SADS, so really wanted to do something to help.
"I'm really happy we could secure the money from ward funding and that the community association has matched this - If it can save just one persons life, it's been worth it."
Cllr Aldred and Cllr Newcome have also organised for local people to be trained how to use the new machine by the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).
JHMT was set up in memory of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries, 14, who collapsed and died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) while out jogging in October 2012.
Since then, the Trust has campaigned tirelessly to help prevent sudden heart deaths, including helping to fund community defibrillators and providing free life-saving training for schools, community groups and sports clubs.
Alan Harrison White is a retired cardiac nurse who carries out specialist CPR and defibrillator training on behalf of the trust.
Alan said: "It's great news that Thurnby Lodge now has a community defibrillator, and I'm really pleased that I will be able to help by offering free training. It is so important that people familiarise themselves with a defibrillator at the earliest opportunity so they are confident in using one at the scene of a cardiac arrest.
"If CPR is started immediately and done effectively, by a trained person, and a defibrillator can be got to the victim within eight minutes, the majority of people could be saved. That's got to be worth making sure you know CPR for – what's more important than knowing how to save someone's life?"