Mike Pinkerton, an Edinburgh father of two who survived a cardiac arrest three years ago, has raised thousands of pounds to fund defibrillators as part of the St John and the City project.
Today he unveiled his fourth defibrillator at Edinburgh's Museum of Childhood, in the heart of the Old Town on the Royal Mile.
Communications manager Mike collapsed at his local vet’s three years ago, when his heart suddenly stopped beating. The 43 year old had suffered a cardiac arrest due to an undiagnosed heart condition. His life was only saved thanks to the quick thinking of vet Henrietta Linnemann who performed CPR for 20 minutes, and paramedics who used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into action.
Three years on and now fully recovered, Mike has completed a number of fundraising challenges which have seen him raise more than £5,000 – enough to fund four defibrillators for the the St John and the City project.
The project, which matches Donors with Hosts across Edinburgh to increase access to the life-saving devices, has so far placed more than 135 defibrillators across the capital. Since the project began in 2016, six of the defibrillators have been successfully deployed, helping save five lives.
Speaking as he handed over his fourth life-saving gift to the city, Mike said: “Sadly, only around one in 12 people survive a cardiac arrest – which shows just how lucky I am still to be here. You cannot underestimate how important it is to have defibrillators available. If it wasn’t for Henrietta doing CPR and then the paramedics shocking me with the defib – which they had to do four times – I wouldn’t have made it.
“To have the best chance of survival, you need to use a defibrillator quickly, so having them available for the public to step in and use before paramedics arrive, is key. We need far more defibrillators available to help save lives, so I’m really proud to be raising money for the St John and the City defibrillator project in Edinburgh.
“I’m delighted that the Museum of Childhood have agreed to host my latest defibrillator – this part of the Royal Mile is an ideal location for one as so many people pass by each day.”
Mike is also keen to encourage people to step in in an emergency: “People shouldn’t be scared to use a defibrillator if they need to. The main thing to remember is that if you find someone who is unresponsive, phone 999 first. The call handler will tell you how to do CPR if you’re not sure. And modern defibrillators are so easy to use – you just turn them on and they read out instructions to you. I was lucky enough to be saved by CPR and a defibrillator, and you could save someone’s life too.”
Mike has now officially handed over the four defibrillators he raised money for, but he isn’t stopping there. He took part in Pedal for Scotland again earlier this month, and hopes to fundraise for at least two more devices.