SHE died from a rare heart condition a year ago – miles away from a defibrillator that could have saved her life.
And now the father of Hampshire’s Claire Reed has thrown his support behind the Daily Echo’s Save a Life in Schools campaign to get the life-saving equipment in every Hampshire school.
Claire, 22, who married husband Andy just five months earlier, collapsed while celebrating on a hen do in rural Taunton, far away from the nearest equipment that may have restarted her heart.
Now dad Graham Hunter and his fellow Botley Parish Councillors have approved the purchase of two community defibrillators for their village, with two more set to follow, to ensure nothing similar happens there.
Mr Hunter, 61, of Salwey Road, Botley, said: “A defibrillator with CPR increases someone’s survival rate by 75 per cent, so it is very important in rural areas for people to have access to one as fast as possible.
“It may have made the difference if Claire had access to one. It took the ambulance a long time to find her and the weather was terrible, so everything was against her. We totally support the Daily Echo’s campaign to get more out there.
“They are idiot-proof and they even tell you how to perform CPR. They are very, very clever and we have the support of our local GPs around here, so people should not be afraid to use them.”
The first two defibrillators will be installed in Botley Centre and another at Botley Market Hall.
Although the items themselves cost around £800, training and a weather-proof metal case brings the cost up to around £1,800 each.
The parish is in talks with Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to fund the other two defibrillators.
Mr Hunter added they should be installed in April.
The parish council has worked with South Central Ambulance Service to procure the equipment and the service has also created an app that allows someone to locate their nearest defibrillator.
Our campaign was launched after 16-year-old Sam Mangoro’s life was saved when four teachers shocked him four times with a defibrillator after he collapsed during a PE lesson.
Sam is now recovering in hospital and his family have also backed the campaign.