AEDs for Alex (Project 9)

Posted on 13th March 2019

Can you help to fundraise for AEDs to be placed in and around Wolverhampton in memory of the tragic and untimely death of Alex?

Speaking to Rachel, Alex’s sister, we were able to understand just how loved and missed Alex is by his friends, family and all who knew him. As a charity, our main aim is to see AEDs installed throughout the country in a desperate effort to reduce the number of sudden cardiac arrest deaths yearly in the UK. Hopefully we can fundraise to have AEDs installed in Alex’s favourite places as a touching memory to his life, and help to save lives in the future.

We asked Rachel to spare a few words on her brother, and why AEDs are so important.

“Very sadly, my brother Alex- a very fit and athletic 25 year-old, collapsed, his heart stopped beating, and he died of SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) early in April; just hours after spending a family day together in the garden. Like many, he had no prior symptoms.

For those who knew Alex, he certainly was a character. He had met the love of his life Becky, he was a fantastic son, a ‘big’ little brother and was soon to become an uncle just 10 days later. Alex was the life and soul of every party and could make a room full of strangers into his best friends- even if they didn’t speak English! You couldn’t be around him and not have a smile on your face- he was infectious. He was the one who looked after all of his friends and made everyone laugh, bringing everyone together. He wouldn’t hesitate to get up and sing on the karaoke or be the first one to dance on the dance floor- the lunge move in particular.

Alex’s day job was to look after seriously ill and sectioned mental health patients, from young children to pensioners. Alex was trained in restraining patients however very rarely needed to use these methods because he could hold a conversation about absolutely anything and easily defuse difficult situations.

Myself and the rest of the family are completely devastated and still remain in shock; thinking that Alex is just going to bounce through the door like he always did. The day we celebrated Alex’s life, the church was heaving. My brother had touched so many lives and I continue to hear the positive impact he had on so many people. He is sadly missed by so many people.

In the hope of achieving something positive from such tragic circumstances we have already set about raising various funds for the CRY charity (Cardiac Risk in the Young), who offer support for the families of victims as well as screening, awareness and education. We have over £8,000 so far from donations alone, and have sponsored people entering Dragon Races, 10km running events, half-marathons, fashion shows, sky dives and so on throughout 2015. So many people have come together to support our family in any way they can.

This condition, which we previously knew nothing about, indiscriminately affects seemingly fit and healthy young people, and the sad fact is that 12 young people aged 35 and under die every week in the UK alone. At this time there is no official screening program for this condition in the UK, although several other European countries do systematically screen all school-aged children.

We were pleased to see that the entire England and Welsh Rugby Union squad were recently screened by CRY just a few weeks ago and as Alex was a huge rugby fan and had some tickets to attend the Rugby World Cup with us, we decided to organise a charity rugby match for Sunday 18th October. The charity rugby match is at 1pm at Lichfield Rugby Club who have kindly supported us in hosting this event. The players partaking in this match will be Alex’s friends vs Lichfield All Stars. All are welcome to the Charity Rugby Match this weekend and there will be lots for both children and adults to do.

We have found huge support for various parties who have provided us with signed rugby memorabilia such as shirts and rugby balls and small local business such as beauticians, cake makers and pubs have kindly donating prizes for the raffle which will be drawn after the match. All funds raised will be going towards the purchase of several defibrillators which are to be positioned with full access to the local community in locations close to our hearts and Alex. We will also be raising funds to enable us to fund a free local heart screening event as heart screening is not free on the NHS. Even if just one life is saved, that’s one less family heartache that ripples through so many people and lasts forever. Alex will live forever in our hearts, his energy will never die and I will continue to raise money in his name.”

AEDdonate are a charity that is dedicated to siting and installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the UK. Automated external defibrillators are placed in a heated, vandal-proof and security-coded cabinet that allows them to be accessible for the local community to use in case of an emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any support you can give will be received very gratefully. By having the AED available to the surrounding community 24/7, we can help cut death tolls that are increasing every year.The AEDs themselves are fully automated, meaning any person can use them at any time. All one would need to do is contact the emergency services who would direct them to their nearest unit, give them the code to remove it from its cabinet, and place it on the patient- following the clear and simple instructions that the AED will recite. If the defibrillator is placed onto the patient who is in cardiac arrest within 3 minutes, they will have a 70% chance of survival.

As part of the service; AEDdonate provides all the administration, essential public awareness campaign and ongoing after care services.