Defib champion Mike gifts seventh device to Edinburgh

Publication date 25 January 2022

An Edinburgh man who almost died six years ago when he suffered a cardiac arrest has donated his seventh defibrillator to the city. 

Three people pose with a defibrillator

Mike Pinkerton, 46, had been at the vet when he collapsed suddenly. 

Had it not been for the quick actions of the vet, who performed CPR, and then paramedics who used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into action, Mike would have lost his life. 

Since his experience, the dad of two has been on a mission to make sure that others who are as unfortunate as he was to suffer a cardiac arrest, have the best possible chance of surviving. 

Since 2017, working with St John Scotland, Mike has raised close to £10,000 to provide Public Access Defibrillators across Edinburgh. 

The first was installed on a tram, while further defibs have been donated to the Museum of Childhood, Summerhall, the Scott Monument, Collective on Calton Hill, and Boardwalk Beach Club on Silverknowes beach.  

Mike held his latest fundraiser for family and friends at the Church Hill Theatre shortly before the pandemic, collecting enough in one night to be able to provide another defibrillator, which was installed at the venue late last year. 

A group of people pose at an event

Mike said: “The St John and the City Defibrillator Project is about installing as many life-saving defibrillators as possible in public places and I’ve tried to choose locations where people enjoy spending time and where they are hopefully most likely to be of benefit.  

“You hope they’re never needed but, when they are, you know they’re giving someone suffering a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival. Of course, that also relies on a loved one or passer-by being brave enough to use one and carry out CPR until the paramedics arrive.  

“So, please consider learning CPR, if you haven’t already. If you need any encouragement, two of my defibs have recently been used to help save the lives of people like me, so it’s well worth giving it a shot.” 

Mike’s campaign to increase access to life-saving defibrillators has been conducted as part of the ‘St John and the City’ defibrillator project, run by volunteers from St John Scotland, which aims to install the devices across Edinburgh and surrounding areas. 

Since the project launched in 2016, more than 200 defibrillators have been sited in Edinburgh, and on average one is called into use once every week.  

Lynn Cleal, St John Scotland volunteer who runs the St John and the City defibrillator project, said: “We know that each week in Scotland, around 70 people will have a sudden cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public place. Starting CPR, and using a defibrillator if one is available, will give someone the best possible chance of surviving.  

“Mike is living proof of how important these machines are, and we’re so grateful he has managed to raise so much to provide seven of these machines now for the benefit of the citizens of Edinburgh.” 

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “The number of lives being saved thanks to St John and the City demonstrates how inspirational and worthwhile this project is. Cardiac arrest can affect people of all ages and can strike at any time and it’s fantastic to see more defibrillators being installed right across the city. 

“I’d like to thank Mike and St John Scotland for donating this latest device to the Church Hill Theatre and for all their fundraising efforts. Hopefully we’ll never have to use the device but having it on site is extremely reassuring for visitors to the venue and others living and working in the area.”