An Edinburgh woman who tragically lost her partner to a cardiac arrest in 2008 has donated a defibrillator to the city in his memory.
The defibrillator has been installed on the outside of the Principal Hotel on George Street, close the spot where Diane Lester's partner at the time, David Harvey, collapsed. He had been cycling on his way to work at the time, and was only 41.
Around 70 people have a cardiac arrest in Scotland each week, but currently, only around one in 12 survive. Using a defibrillator within the first few minutes of collapse, alongside performing CPR, can increase the chances of survival dramatically.
The defibrillator has been installed as part of the St John and the City project, run by our volunteers in Edinburgh. The project has so far helped install more than 120 of the life-saving devices across Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Since its launch in 2016, six of the defibrillators have been successfully deployed, helping save five lives.
Speaking as she unveiled the defibrillator in David’s memory this week, Diane said: “Having suffered the shocking loss of David aged just 41, with an undiagnosed heart problem, I learned that age and health are no guarantee of heart longevity. David was an active cyclist and judo player.
“A defibrillator may have saved him, so it spurred me on to raise some money, with the help of friends and family, to help get more out there.”
The Principal Hotel Charlotte Square were delighted to host the equipment in memory of David. General Manager Johan Scheepers said: “The safety of our guests and visitors is our number one priority at the hotel so we're honoured to support St John Scotland and home a defibrillator outside the hotel. The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square is located in the heart of the city centre so we're delighted to support the provision of life-saving equipment in a key location.”
Volunteer Lynn Cleal, who leads the St John and the City project on behalf of St John Scotland, said: “We’re so grateful to Diane for making this generous donation in memory of David, to be able to install a defibrillator at this busy city centre location. We know that defibrillators can and do save lives – tragically this one is too late to save David, but it may well save a life in future.”