Following the sudden and unexpected passing of Alex Brown in April 2015 from an undiagnosed heart condition resulting in a fatal cardiac arrest at the age of 25; family and friends have been tirelessly raising funds to pay for heart screening for young people aged between 14 and 35 years old through the national charity Cardiac Risk in the Young with their next heart screening being on Saturday 14th April at Queen Mary’s in Walsall at the cost of £5000, but it is also Alex’s sisters mission to install Public accessible defibrillators in memorable places to Alex around the West Midlands. Alex was loved by all; his laugh and sense of humour was infectious. He was fit, healthy and was perfectly fine on the day of his passing.
Alex’s sister Rachel knew that one of the most important locations would be Tettenhall. Both former St Peters Collegiate School pupils, and Alex often meeting with his friends at the Dog and Gun Pub it seemed only right. Rachel spent many days in Tettenhall High Street asking for donations from business owners and even hosting a beauty show at ND Hair and Beauty. Rachel became extremely well known to the businesses and assured them that she would get the defibrillator installed no matter what. One of Alex’s best friends Russ Huggs also participated in a two miles Great North Swim across lake Windermere and raised over £1000 for the defibrillator. After many frustrating set backs which delayed finding a suitable location, Rachel was happy to find the perfect location at Upper Green Pharmacy. Rachel also managed to raise enough funds for two public accessible defibrillators for Tettenhall and is in the process of securing her second location.
Rachel works closely with AEDdonate in Stone, Staffordshire who are a charity who help install public defibrillators into the community. Rachel has worked with the charity since she lost Alex and is on her 12th public defibrillator including installing defibrillators in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Staffordshire. Rachel will be looking at organising public CPR and defibrillator training in Tettenhall and Wolverhampton. However, you do not need training to operate a defibrillator.
Alex’s legacy can be seen on a dedicated facebook page called CRYALEX. “We can never bring Alex back but we can hope that we can leave Alex the lasting legacy he deserves but also to selflessly save the lives of both young and old people who suffer cardiac arrests and heart attacks”. Rachel believes a part of Alex’s heart beats in every defibrillator she installs with one of her defibrillators being used three times including once on a two year old child.