A couple from Botley who have been campaigning to establish a countrywide network of public access defibrillators were surprised to find the chancellor of exchequer has once again earmarked funds in last week’s budget to buy more of the life saving machines.
Graham and Anne hunter met George Osborne will he was visiting Botley Mill in december 2014. They told him how their daughter Claire had died while at a remote spa hotel after her heart suddenly stopped beating – a victim of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).
The couple say if the hotel had a defibrillator she might have been saved.
Defibrillators are devices which give patients in cardiac arrest an electric shock which can re start their hearts.
Public access defibrillators are placed at strategic and easily accessible locations in communities. Users ring a number printed outside which will give them a code to unlock the machine. The unit can be used by anyone, with no training, by following easy to understand instructions.
In the following 2015 budget George Osbourne released £1 million to buy pubic access defibrillators for community clubs and organisations in a scheme administered by The British Heart Foundation.
The Chancellor later told Eastleigh News that he had been inspired by the Hunters and their commitment and he had their story very much in mind when he made the money available.
On the morning of the budget the Hunters were “delighted” to receive a phone-call from the treasury to say that the Chancellor had decided to make another £1 million available this year.
Commenting on the news Eastleigh’s MP Mims Davies said:
“This is fantastic news for the campaign to make more of these machines available across the country, and I know it will save lives.
“The Chancellor was told that the £1million he gave last year is now oversubscribed, so more money was needed to keep the programme moving forward. He has listened yet again and this will go a long way to expand the network.”