Evesham paramedic Kerry’s crusade to help save lives continues - The Evesham Observer

Evesham paramedic Kerry’s crusade to help save lives continues

Evesham Editorial 20th Oct, 2023   0

AN EVESHAM paramedic concerned by long ambulance waiting times for cardiac arrest sufferers will take another huge step in her crusade to install a defibrillator on every housing estate in the town tomorrow.

Kerry Wood, a recently qualified paramedic, said she was spurred into action after becoming aware of ‘clinically dead’ cardiac arrest sufferers waiting up to 40 minutes for an ambulance in the town while she was a student.

Now Kerry, alongside her fellow fund-raisers Kerry Yates, Donna Atkin and Karen Stephens, will be holding an all-day fund-raising event tomorrow (Saturday) at the Bengeworth Club.

She has been fund-raising for this project since June, putting her ambitions to find a job as a paramedic on hold while she worked towards Saturday’s big event.

But she has begun to see the fruits of her labour, with defibrillators now installed on Egremont Close, Greenhill, Broadway Road and Woodland Piece, with a fifth set to be unveiled on Kings Road within weeks.

The group has also handed out over 30 fundraising pots which will continue to be on display at local bars, chip shops and other businesses after the event.

Kerry told the Observer: “There is only a six per cent chance of people who have had a cardiac arrest surviving with CPR alone, but their odds increase by 50 to 60 per cent if a defibrillator is used within around six minutes.

“People don’t generally die in town they die at home and there simply isn’t time to travel to find a defibrillator, so they need to be on as many housing estates as possible.

“If this saves lives it will have all been worth it.”

A West Midlands Ambulance spokesperson said the longer response times were purely down to the level of hospital handover delays, with national figures showing there is a direct correlation between the length of delays and the length of response times.

The spokesperson added: “Within Evesham, we are currently aware of 54 public access defibrillators available 24/7 and a further 20 with restricted access which are only available during their open hours.

“The more people know CPR and are prepared to use a defibrillator, the more people will survive.”

Tomorrow’s fund-raising event will be free to enter and will take place between midday and 4pm, with fun activities including a free bouncy castle, tombolas, a cake sale, and circus games such as a lucky dip and hook a duck.

Then in the evening, there will be a sold-out ticketed event at the same venue which will see a raffle drawn featuring prizes donated from local businesses including free holidays and a hot tub hire for a week.

Raffle tickets are still available to buy.

Visit www.facebook.com/events/s/defibrillator-fundraising-even/271392705495478/ or call Kerry on 07591421123 for more information and to buy raffle tickets.

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