A heart beat away

Life-saving heart equipment in Long Wittenham’s redundant red telephone box should be in place and operational by the end of April. The Public Access Defibrillator or PAD costing nearly £2,500 will help save the lives of heart attack victims.

The parish council has put in £1,000 towards the cost of buying and installing the equipment .The rest of the money has come from public donations and Crispin and Beth Evans from Fieldside in memory of their son Guy who died four years ago at the age of 17. Guy’s heart stopped suddenly while he was riding his motorcycle and he died before paramedics could reach him.

Mr Evans said the public appeal raised £1,300 and more has been promised.

Extra money would be used to create a maintenance fund and refurbishment of the phone box. The council is to under-write £250 for refurbishment costs. It’s also planned to use the kiosk as a book exchange facility.

Mr Evans said: “We would like to thank everyone for their generous support in helping get this scheme off the ground. Our thanks go to the council and villagers. We have also received money from former residents of Long Wittenham.”

On Friday March 30 Mr and Mrs Evans will host a social evening in the village hall to thank the village for its support. A representative from the Community HeartBeat Trust will give a demonstration on how to use the defibrillator. The machine is programmed to give simple, step-by-step instructions to the user who would not need specialist knowledge. It is planned to hold an official opening of the PAD on June 4 as part of the village’s celebrations to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee

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