Charity defibrillator helps save man's life

A defibrillator installed by a north-Northumberland memorial charity was used to save the life of a pubgoer after he collapsed and stopped breathing.

A Stephen Carey Fund defibrillator in Alnmouth.
A Stephen Carey Fund defibrillator in Alnmouth.

The equipment – which was placed at Acomb Village Hall by The Stephen Carey Fund, in partnership with the Hexham Courant in March – came into use earlier this month.

Minutes before Newcastle United’s game with Nottingham Forest kicked off at 7.45pm, a man collapsed at the village’s Sun Inn, run by Claire Mcgee and her partner Malcolm Oliver.

The casualty, known locally as Jim, had stopped breathing and was unresponsive, prompting Malcolm to call 999.

He was placed in the recovery position by Joe Watson, who had been in the bar, while another man, Keith Norman, fetched the defibrillator. Dominic Luke took over chest compressions before the automated machine – used to restore a normal rhythm to the heart – delivered two shocks.

A community paramedic and ambulance crew arrived and, after treating Jim at the scene, he was taken to hospital.

Claire said: “A family member came into the pub the next day and let us all know that he was in a stable condition. Without the defibrillator, or if that had happened when he was on his own, things could have been very different.”

Fund vice-chairman, Dougie McEwan, said: “That is what the defibrillator is there for and it is great that it helped save a life.”

He added that it was the third one of the charity’s defibs located across Northumberland to be put to use in the space of 10 days, adding that the other two incidents were used as a precaution.