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Bishopton celebrates installation of defibrillator

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Cardiac arrest survivor Tom Lambie with St John Scotland Glasgow Chair Margaret McAdam, committee member Stuart Mathewson and Community Centre Chair Lynne Hutchinson

St John Scotland has helped the community of Bishopton, near Glasgow, install a life-saving Public Access Defibrillator.

Volunteers from Bishopton Community Centre raised money to cover the majority of costs for the defibrillator, with St John Scotland topping up funds as part of our scheme to increase public access to the devices across the country. The defibrillator has been installed at Bishopton Community Centre and is available 24/7 for the public to use in an emergency.

The defibrillator is particularly welcomed by Tom Lambie, who runs the Karate Club at the Community Centre. Tom knows first hand the importance of the devices, after having his life saved by one last year.

Nine months ago, Tom had swapped his usual Sunday training session in Bishopton for a course at another club in Caithness. It was during the course that Tom’s heart suddenly stopped.

Tom’s colleagues were able to administer CPR, until paramedics arrived and used a defibrillator to restart his heart, which had been stopped for nine full minutes. Tom was airlifted to hospital in Aberdeen where he spent several weeks in recovery.

Tom was lucky to survive. Cardiac arrest affects around 3,500 people in Scotland each year, yet survival rates are as low as one in twenty.

Volunteers from St John Scotland's Glasgsow Area committee, and Bishopton Community centre, joined Tom to celebrate the installation of the defibrillator on Saturday.

At the same time, trainers from St John Scotland held a drop-in training session at the centre, and taught 40 local people how to perform CPR.

Lynne Hutchinson, Chair of Bishopton Community Centre Association said: “We’re very grateful to St John Scotland for helping us with funding for the purchase of the defibrillator, and providing the CPR training to help us all learn how we can save a life should something happen like it did to Tom.”

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