A new life-saving defibrillator has been installed on the Douglas Promenade by Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation, thanks to donations made by M&S Douglas.
The public-access defibrillator, which is situated in a high-traffic area close to a children’s park and café, was part funded through the sale of M&S plastic bags which are subject to a 5p bag levy. A total of £2,500 was donated by M&S Douglas towards the purchase and installation of the defibrillator.
Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation is an established Manx charity which was originally set up by the Lunt family and friends in memory of Craig, 25, a well-respected, talented and popular young footballer who tragically died in April 2005 due to a previously undiagnosed heart defect.
The Foundation raises funds to enable heart screening of people between the ages of 14 and 35 on the Isle of Man, to help diagnose an underlying heart condition. They execute this with help from CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), an organisation who aim to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research.
Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation also provides much-needed defibrillators in schools, sports clubs and offices, and is now working towards installing public-access defibrillators across the island. A defibrillator is a life-saving device which delivers a high-current shock to someone who is going into cardiac arrest, to re-start the heart or return it to its normal rhythm.
Julie Hodgen, M&S Douglas Store Manager said: “Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation is a charity very close to the hearts of our colleagues and customers. We are extremely pleased to be able to support the installation of a defibrillator on the busy Douglas Promenade – which is an ideal location for this vital piece of equipment.”
Paul Healey, Chairman of Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation and Craig’s best friend, said: “Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation is extremely grateful to M&S for purchasing the defibrillator and protective box as well as allowing us to situate it in such a prime location on Douglas Promenade. We are very hopeful that more of these public-access defibrillators can be installed across the Island with the help of businesses and fundraising from the amazingly generous Manx public. Without the help of businesses like M&S, then we wouldn’t be able to continue the work that we do.”
The next heart screening session run by Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation and CRY will take place in April 2018, with the aim of seeing over 400 people.
Photo - Paul Healey, Craig's Heartstrong Foundation, Paula Lunt, Craig's Heartstrong Foundation, Russell Heatley, M&S Douglas Commercial Operations Manager, and Dave Scambler, Ambulance service, are pictured installing the new defibrillator on the Douglas Promenade.