The UK’s biggest killer is being targeted by a Harrogate woman whose husband suffered sudden cardiac arrest while sleeping.
Through the skills of paramedics and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), Alistair Hughes survived the arrest which kills more people every year than breast cancer, lung cancer, and Aids combined.
His wife Lizzie, who was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, is now on a mission to have publicly accessible AEDs placed around Harrogate to ensure others have easy access to the equipment that could save their life.
She said: “People don’t realise how common sudden cardiac arrest is. 100,000 die each year from it and that is not including heart attacks leading to cardiac arrest. It is also common in teenagers and young people.
“We just want to raise awareness of the fact that Harrogate is a tourist destination, especially in the summer, and yet the access to these defibrillators is pretty minimal.
“People wouldn’t have a problem with picking up a fire extinguisher now and we want that for defibrillators.”
Attracting support from Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, Lizzie hopes to target businesses to have AEDs in their premises, and with £2,125 required for one defibrillator, she is set to begin fundraising soon.
Mr Jones said: “When a crisis happens access to a defibrillator might be needed quickly.
“Having more defibrillators in workplaces, finding one quickly and having a basic knowledge of how to use one are the keys to radically reducing the number of lives lost to cardiac arrest.”