VIDEO: Defibrillator a heartening new addition to village phone box
A WIFE whose husband's life was saved with a defibrillator has said she feels "hugely reassured" to see one fitted in her village phone box.
Glenis Palmer said it was the electric shock treatment delivered by the medical device which restarted 63-year-old John's heart after he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Four years later, the Barrow-upon-Trent Parish Council has arranged to have one of the life-saving units fitted in a disused phone box for people to use in a medical emergency.
Mrs Palmer, 61, said: "It is so reassuring for us all. John and I were on holiday in France four years ago and his heart stopped. He actually died for a short time.
"But the paramedics had a defibrillator and they used it on him and his heart restarted. It saved his life. So we know well how amazing they can be and to have one fitted here is just great."
Anne Heathcote, chairman of the council, said the authority decided to get one of the devices following deaths related to heart conditions in the village.
She said: "We have had a few people die in Barrow because of heart attacks and there is an argument some of these could easily have been prevented with the help of a defibrillator.
"Ambulances take 10 to 15 minutes to get here so, to have something locally, available to everyone and which could make the difference, seemed worth it."
On Tuesday night, residents went to the Brookfield Club to be taught how to use the defibrillator by Martin Fagan, of the Community Heartbeat Trust – a charity which provides the units to local groups.
He said: "The way it works is someone makes a 999 call and they are given a code. They go to the phone box where the defibrillator is kept and they put the code in. This unlocks it for them to use and it has recorded instructions for each step, so it literally tells you how to use it."
The machine works by producing an electrical current which, when the paddles are placed on the victim's chest, delivers a shock which can restart the heart and get it pumping blood once more.
Its £1,750 cost has been paid for by a grant from Derbyshire County Council, combined with money from the parish council.
Resident Ian Cartwright, 42, hoped the training would complement his St John Ambulance skills. He said: "I want to be able to help someone in the village if they get into trouble and this will mean we can all do that."