The people of Douglas this week have a new life-saving defibrillator thanks, ironically, to a village man’s near-death experience.
Early this year John Hogg was suffering a heart attack and his wife Kathleen was advised by the ambulance service rushing to the rescue to use the village defibrillator to keep John alive until they arrived.
The trouble was that the essential device was locked up tight in the Douglas St Bride’s community centre, which was closed at the time.
Mercifully, John survived - just - and Kathleen was determined that no-one else in the village suffer the same ordeal they had just gone through.
Knowing that heart attacks don’t handily happen only when the community centre is open, Kathleen approached Douglas Community Council to ask for their help in having a device available 24/7.
The council passed this on for the newly-formed Douglas Community Development Company to deal with and it took on the project and began sourcing quotes for devices and also the funding to purchase and install it. It also sought the best site forit in the village. Said a spokeswoman for the Company: “We applied to Mainshill Trust for £1,6200 purchase the ZOLL Automated External Defibrillator complete with an armoured steel cabinet.
“We applied for a further £150 from 3R Energy Solutions Ltd’s Hazelside Microgrant scheme - distributed by Douglas Community Council - to cover installation costs. The device was fitted exactly five months after we started this project, the chosen site being the Crossburn Service Station.
“The station management very kindly gave permission for the device to be housed on the A70-facing wall of the building which can be seen from all directions. The device is in the process of being registered with several organisations including the Scottish Ambulance Service who hold access details to the device.”
The community council send their special thanks to all the funders and supporters of the project “and of course to Kathleen Hogg for bringing this to our attention.”