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Paul is St John Scotland's Defibrillator Champion

Cardiac arrest survivor, Paul Burns, has become St John Scotland's defibrillator champion and will attempt to raise £5,000 for defibrillators in Edinburgh and North Berwick.

Fifty-five-year-old Paul suffered a cardiac arrest during a football match with friends at the Hibernian Training Centre in April of 2015 and was brought back to life with the quick use of a defibrillator.

"I decided not to go a run up the Pentland Hills that morning. Instead I would go to play football at the Hibernian Training Centre - a decision that saved my life," Paul said.

"The guys all thought that I was having an epileptic fit, they weren’t to know that I was having a massive heart attack which resulted in a cardiac arrest.

"I was so lucky that they were able to run to the Hibs Physiotherapist, Kitty Forrest, who firstly administered CPR and then had to use a defibrillator to get my heart into rhythm.

"It was only when I went back to the ground a few weeks later that I realised how many people assisted in saving my life that day and I am eternally grateful to each and every one of them.

"Thank goodness Kitty and the defibrillator machine were at hand otherwise I would most certainly have died."

Out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has been identified as a significant healthcare challenge in Scotland. Approximately 3,500 people undergo attempted resuscitation each year after OHCA, but currently only around 1 in 20 survive to hospital discharge.

Defibrillation works in synergy with CPR, and is most effective the earlier it is performed. Delivering a defibrillatory electrical shock to the heart within 3-5 minutes of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 75%.

St John Scotland has proudly donated public access defibrillators (PADs) in locations across Scotland, and is proud to have Paul as the charity’s Defibrillator Champion.

St John Scotland’s Executive Director, Angus Loudon said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Paul in raising money for public access defibrillators.

"Paul’s story is an incredible one, and demonstrates the importance of having quick access to a defibrillator in an emergency. St John Scotland are proud to support Paul’s efforts to extend the availability of these life-saving devices in and around his home town of Edinburgh and in North Berwick.”

Paul now plans to raise £5,000 to fund three public access defibrillators which will be placed in Edinburgh and North Berwick.

He said: "It wasn’t my turn on the 3rd of April 2015. My life was saved by the use of a defibrillator. That’s why I am setting myself a target of raising £5k to provide funds for three defibrillators along with the necessary training required to administer them.

"I am doing this through St John Scotland and if you feel it’s appropriate you can pledge a donation on my Just Giving Page."

You can find Paul's Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/PaulBurnsDefibs

The BBC used Paul's story, and it can be seen here.

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