THE father of a Hampshire woman who died from a sudden heart condition has unveiled a new defibrillator which he hopes may help save others from the same fate.
Graham Hunter joined medical crews launching the first of two new devices installed for public use in Botley.
The village’s parish council funded £1,850 for the lifesaving machines in the Botley Centre and in Market Hall, both in High Street.
Parish councillor Graham has campaigned for the devices after his daughter Claire Reed died from a rare heart condition in March last year.
Mrs Reed, 22, from Eastleigh, collapsed and died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) when celebrating at a hen do in Taunton in March last year – just five months after her own dream wedding.
The devices – placed in busy locations – administer electric shocks to re-start a patient’s heart and come with easy to follow instructions.
They were installed in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service and are set in vandal-proof boxes and will be checked monthly for maintenance.
A third unit will be installed in Boorley Green this summer funded by Hampshire County Council.
Mr Hunter, from Salway Road, said: “Providing access to defibrillators within Botley is a fantastic opportunity to help increase the chances of survival following a cardiac arrest.
“From a family point of view we want to see them in many locations such as sports facilities and hotels.
“We hope other parish councils will follow us.”
Defibrillators have also been installed in Fareham Borough Council’s civic offices and also at the town’s Ferneham Hall and the council’s depot.
It comes after the Daily Echo continues its campaign to get defibrillators in schools across Hampshire after a 16-year-old pupil at a Romsey school was saved with a defibrillator when he suffered a heart attack.
Mountbatten School teachers shocked Sam Mangoro with the device four times, keeping his heart beating until paramedics arrived.
Each year 30,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrests with only 18.5 per cent of people surviving.
But defibrillators are proven to increase survival rates by three-fold to 75 per cent.