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A man who has been tirelessly raising funds to purchase a defibrillator for the community has had a welcome boost in his efforts, teaming up with affordable housing provider Hillcrest Enterprises to have the life-saving device installed.
Dougie Harrold who is local to Kirkliston, set out on his fundraising mission after his own brush with a potentially fatal heart issue.
After raising the £1,800 required and purchasing the defibrillator, Dougie reached out to Hillcrest Enterprises, whose apartment block is central to the area, with a view to having the device installed on the property.
Impressed by Dougie’s goal and fundraising efforts, Hillcrest Enterprises quickly agreed not only to have the equipment installed on their property, but they also pledged to arrange installation and cover all installation costs.
With the defibrillator now operational on the building at Stillhouse Loan, it will offer a vital lifeline should anyone in the community need it.
With Hillcrest Enterprises covering the installation costs, the money that Dougie had originally raised and set aside for this will now go towards organising training sessions for members of the community on how to use the life-saving device.
The training is to be delivered by local first-aid training company, Mini First Aid Edinburgh & the Lothians, which is working with Dougie to get as many people defibrillator-friendly as possible.
Dougie said, “I was recovering from Covid and one day I felt a little lightheaded, my heart rate was abnormal and I was out of breath.
“I assumed this was due to recovering from Covid, however it lasted for several hours. My heart rate watch probably saved my life as it encouraged me to seek medical attention urgently.
“I had a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal if untreated.”
“My partner made the 999 call and she was told to get a defibrillator. I couldn’t move, and there was my partner who would need to go and find a defibrillator with none close by.
“She didn’t want to leave me and I knew if I really needed a defibrillator, I was a goner as she didn’t know how to use it.
“Fortunately, I didn’t need one but the experience proved to me the importance of having defibrillators located throughout the community.
“This happened on the 22nd of August and I had a ticket for the Rangers vs Celtic old firm game that weekend. I decided to raffle the ticket using the lottery bonus hall and ended up raising £1,630 in total – £1,180 from the old firm ticket raffle and the rest from donations, which covered the full cost of the defibrillator.
“Now that we have one in our estate, we are looking to get as many people as possible defibrillator-friendly through training.”
Councillor Louise Young added, “This is a fantastic initiative and I want to thank Dougie for all the work he’s done to organise and fund the new defibrillator for Kirkliston.
“It’s amazing to think that his own health-scare and that football ticket could ultimately now save someone’s life in Kirkliston. I’d like to congratulate Dougie and Hillcrest, and my sincere thanks on behalf of our village.”
Hillcrest Enterprises’ Director Stuart Dow said, “When Dougie approached Hillcrest to enquire about our building for the defibrillator, we were hugely impressed by his efforts and what he wanted to achieve.
“Dougie’s commitment to install this lifesaving piece of equipment for the Kirkliston community has been nothing short of inspirational, and we were of course keen to help him in any way we could.”
If you live in the Kirkliston area and are interested in receiving free training in CPR and defibrillators please contact Lyndsey Anderson at Mini First Aid Edinburgh & the Lothians for more information. Lyndsey contact be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org