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A CENTRAL Fife village has had a second defibrillator installed following a man’s cardiac arrest.
Hill of Beath can provide the vital spark after being inspired to act when a Benarty man suffered a cardiac arrest at a school show.
The village has now installed its second defibrillator, a device that can prove the difference between life and death, following the example of Stephen Nardone who survived the heart scare and decided to raise money for the kits.
Morag Campbell, secretary of Hill of Beath community council, explained: “I work for the ambulance service in the control room and I’m involved in an out of hospital cardiac arrest campaign too.
“Stephen is my uncle and a few years back he had a cardiac arrest at a nativity play at St Kenneth’s Primary School in Ballingry.
“He survived and began fundraising for a defibrillator for the school. That spurred me on to get one for our village and everyone who attends the community council were all very keen.”
If you suffer a cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack, a defibrillator can deliver the electric shock that can restore a normal heart rhythm.
Mr Nardone said his heart stopped for 27 minutes and the former chair of Benarty Community Council was given CPR until an ambulance arrived and his life was saved in December 2017.
He has since raised thousands of pounds to help buy defibrillators.
Morag continued: “After we got the first defibrillator, at the Hill of Beath Ex-Service Memorial Club, we spoke about getting a second one for our new community hub and nursery, at the opposite end of the village.
“ExxonMobil were at one of our meetings, they had representatives answering questions about their plant at Mossmorran, and it was just after we’d installed the first defibrillator.
“They were keen to assist in any way they could and gave us a donation towards the second one.
“Hearts of Beath AFC were also keen to help so from the two donations we bought the defibrillator, which is about £1,000, and the cabinet, which was nearly £600.
“The community council made up the difference, we bought child pads for about £100 as you can’t use the adult pads on a child under eight and we’ve obviously got the school and nursery close by.
“We’re hoping we never use them but they are there just in case.”
She added they will also offer CPR training in the village for up to 10 people at a time when restrictions allow.
Tony Smith, from Hearts of Beath AFC, posted: “We were more than happy to donate towards the cost of the defibrillator.
“When the club was reformed over 30 years ago we were gifted money from the village and the club to help get the team up and running, which was very much appreciated.
“As club chairman, along with the committee, it was felt this was the correct thing to do.
“It is only right that Hearts of Beath AFC put something back into the village, we’re hoping it is never needed but if so it is a life saving piece of equipment.”
Someone who has had a cardiac arrest, when the heart unexpectedly stops beating, will be unconscious and will not be breathing properly.
Classed as clinically dead, without help the casualty generally has minutes to live.
CPR can help keep the patient alive until a defibrillator is used. The electric shock it delivers can bring the patient back from the dead.
Around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the UK every year.