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Local business appeals to fund defibrillator after IT Manager's cardiac arrest

A local company is marking its 10th anniversary by sponsoring a communal emergency defibrillator which will be accessible 24/7. With help from other companies on the Woodlands Court Business Park, Bridgwater, and friends and families, Scan Film or Store hopes to raise £2,000 to provide the life-saving equipment.

The project has been inspired by the real-life drama of the company’s IT Manager Sophie Popplewell who suffered a cardiac arrest last November while at home. She was 28 at the time with a two-year-old daughter.

Luckily, her husband was at home and gave Sophie CPR for 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived and they used a defibrillator to shock her heart. She was taken to the Bristol Heart Hospital where her family were told that she had a 50% chance of surviving.

Sophie was in a coma for three days and then spent another two weeks in hospital before being fitted with a permanent implantable defibrillator to prevent another arrest happening.

Sophie made a full recovery but no cause was ever found. She said: “A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, at any age and very often to healthy people with no known heart problems or risk factors.

“The chance of surviving  an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are just 8%. If defibrillated within the first minute of collapse, the victim’s chances of survival are close to 90% but for every minute defibrillation is delayed survival rates decrease by up to 10%.

“I was so lucky that my husband was calm enough to take instruction from the 999 operator as he had never done CPR before otherwise I would not be here today.”

Sophie’s company is championing the fundraising for the provision of a life-saving defibrillator, which will be available to all of the new and existing businesses on the Woodlands Court Business Park on Bristol Road, 24 hours a day.

To date, more than £500 has been raised for the equipment which will be fitted to the outside of the Scan Film or Store offices (opposite the DPD building).

Anyone who would like to contribute to this life-saving equipment appeal can make a donation via the crowdfunding page at

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