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Fruit and veg shop gets vital equipment after heart shock

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • The vice-chairman of the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity, Liz Williams presents Thornes' owner Malcolm Hendy with a defibrillator, watched by business sponsors, Susan Gwennap, Lloyds Bank; Rob Johns, Causewayhead Cobblers; Wendy Richards and Terry Gardner, Causewayhead Furnishings; Ed Hall, AJ's Eats & Treats; Mike Bond, Thornes; staff from Thornes and Cornwall First Aid training officer Emma Jones, rear left with the charity's secretary Paul Williams.

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A LIFESAVING piece of equipment has been presented to a Penzance shop.

The £1,000 public access heart defibrillator (PAD) was handed to Thornes Fruit and Veg by the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity.

The organisation has been working since 2011 to make the machines more accessible to the public, providing a vital service and helping to save the lives of those struck down by a cardiac arrest.

"There are now five defibrillators in strategic places in Penzance," said Paul Williams, secretary of the charity. "The idea is to get this equipment out there as quick as we can."

Thornes knows first-hand how important this machine can be after a customer suffered a cardiac arrest in the store last year.

"He was very fortunate because there was a doctor in the queue at the time," said Sue Hendy, owner of Thornes.

"He was very, very poorly and they worked on him for a long time but he made it through."

The charity was set up after Ronnie Richards died from a cardiac arrest while playing football in Penzance in 2008.

Other Causewayhead traders also celebrated the new medical addition to the street helping to fight a condition which is believed to kill 250 people a day in the UK.

Mr Williams said following the collapse in Thornes a PAD was rushed up from the Wharfside Shopping Centre but with a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) every second counts.

"Within that small amount of time, it could be fatal," he said, explaining that SCA is different to a heart attack because there is an unexpected failure in the heart's ability to effectively pump blood to the brain and around the body.

"The SCA victim collapses, losing their pulse, consciousness and the ability to breathe," he said adding that "it is usually caused by life-threatening arrhythmias, abnormalities in the heart's electrical system.

"All of this happens quickly and without treatment the victim will be dead within a few minutes."

If you think your location could benefit from a PAD, contact Mr Williams at paulwilliams29@live.co.uk or 01736 360864. If you would like to make a donation for a PAD for your area, visit www.rrmc.webs.com.

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