In memory of Alison Hey, we are fundraising for a publicly accessible defibrillator at Bushey Railway Station. All those who knew Alison will know that she had the biggest heart, but sometimes, sadly, even hearts that are full of love need a helping hand.
On Saturday, 24th September 2022, on her way to watch Wicked on stage in London with her son, Alison had a heart attack on board a train. A carriage full of kind strangers, train service staff, and four off-duty nurses rushed to help. Kindness and compassion were abundant, but their capacity to help was limited by the lack of a defibrillator.
“A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it’s an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest” – British Heart Foundation.
Fewer than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but defibrillation delivered within 3–5 minutes of collapse can produce survival rates of up to 70%. Every minute of delay in using a defibrillator reduces the likelihood of survival by 10%, showing just how crucial these devices are. In London, 27.1% of all cardiac arrests happen outside of the home. London Ambulance Service data from 2018/19 show that, when a defibrillator was used by a member of the public before an ambulance arrived, 79.5% of patients’ heartbeats returned and they were taken to hospital, and 57.1% of patients survived and were discharged.
“Nothing’s guaranteed, but knowing that my mum’s chances of survival could have been greater if a defibrillator had been available makes me want to make sure there’s one ready for someone else should they need it”, – her son, Cameron
£1,999 is the cost of a publicly accessible defibrillator. When supplied in partnership with AED Donate, the first £400 is funded, so the remaining amount to be raised is £1,599. This will install a defibrillator at or near the station, and any funds beyond this will go towards replacement pads and batteries, which are required every four years.
We’re more grateful than we can say for whatever contribution you can make. We make this request in the knowledge that no amount of money will bring Alison back, but we know all too well that one heart restarted might have prevented a hundred others from breaking. In her memory, we want to give the next person who needs it the blessing we wish we’d have had that day, the tools to restart a broken heart.