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Bridgwater firm crowdfunds a public access defibrillator

Staff at Bridgwater-based Scan Film or Store have successfully completed a mammoth fundraising effort to buy a public access defibrillator to show support for a work colleague who suffered a cardiac arrest aged only 28.

Sophie collapsed in front of her two-year-old daughter in 2018. Thankfully, her husband was there and was able to call an ambulance and performance CPR until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator to restart her heart.

Her colleagues at Scan Film or Store on the Woodlands Court Business Park, Bristol Road, were inspired to set up a crowdfunding page to raise £1,500 to provide a public access defibrillator to be mounted on the wall of their offices for anyone in need to use 24/7.

Friends, family and other businesses on the estate pledged their support with donations or offers of free expert help to get the defibrillator operational. A local electrician and electrical wholesaler donated cabling and expert fitting and the cash donations came pouring in. too. Before long the target figure had been reached – but the figure kept on growing. In the end, the total raised stood at nearly £2,500.

As a result, a new top-quality defibrillator suitable for adults and children has been installed in a secure wall cupboard at the company’s office on Woodlands Court – both supplied by the London Hearts charity, which provides discounted defibrillator equipment. They also supplied specialist training on how and when to use it and several donors, staff from Scan Film or Store and other businesses on the estate joined in.

Left over cash from the appeal will be split between the Bristol Heart Institute at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and SADS, a charity that raises awareness and does research into sudden adult death syndrome.

Mark Yates, of Scan Film or Store, said: “Cardiac arrest can affect any of us – and we might not be as lucky as Sophie was. A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported the appeal – your generosity might save someone’s life!”

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