Story & photos originally published over at Island Echo
Colleagues at Specsavers in Newport hosted an epic 12-hour CPR challenge on 21st November to raise the necessary funds for a defibrillator that will be housed in-store.
The need for a machine on the High Street was highlighted by locally qualified CPR IOW Volunteer and Fundraiser ambassador for the British Heart Foundation, Dana Edkins-Wherry. The store was inspired by Dana’s story – who has her own internal defibrillator in her chest as she has a serious hereditary heart condition which causes irregular heart rhythms and ectopic beats. This has driven her commitment to support numerous fund-raising efforts on the island.
Ahead of the big day, Dana gave CPR training to Specsavers colleagues as well as Halifax and Warren James. To support the 12-hour challenge, Specsavers hosted a raffle rammed full with over 48 wonderful prizes contributed by high street businesses. With the support from the local community, the target fund of £1,000 to cover the defibrillator was exceeded with an astonishing £1,111 being raised on the day.
Louise Walker, Head of the Ambulance Training & Community Response Services (ATCoRS) says:
“We were absolutely thrilled to learn that Dana and the Specsavers team are raising funds for a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD). As an Ambulance Service we fully support their campaign and certainly commend the efforts of all those involved. No doubt the twelve CPR challenge was exhausting, but also very rewarding. We know only too well how the first three minutes of an out of hospital cardiac arrest are the most crucial and so another defibrillator for the Newport area really is most welcome”.
Store representative, Sue Dorman, says:
“A cardiac arrest can happen at any time, and without this lifesaving equipment, an individual could lose their life. It is therefore imperative that we have a defibrillator on our high street should anyone in the local area ever need one”.
The defibrillator will be stored at Specsavers 107 High street and will be available for use during store opening hours 09:00-18:00 on weekdays, 09:00-17:30 on Saturdays and 09:00-17:00 on Sundays (with some exceptions including Christmas Day and some Bank Holidays).
Donations for the fundraiser will be live until 24th December. To make a pledge, visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/2510166835926814/?fundraiser_source=external_url.