Ipswich: Grieving son starts petition for more public defibrillators

A HEARTBROKEN son has launched an e-petition to get more heart defibrillators in public places after his mum died a week after suffering a cardiac arrest at a motorway service station.

Laurence Kidd, 28, of Henniker Road, Ipswich, believes his wheelchair-bound mother Rosemary, who died last month at Coventry hospital aged 64, could have been saved if a defibrillator was on site.

The mother-of-six suffered a cardiac arrest at the Corley Services on the M6 on September 30 when travelling back from a wedding in Wales with her husband John, 65.

Off-duty Suffolk policeman Daniel Aston helped treat Rosemary at the scene before she was taken to hospital in an ambulance. She died on October 7.

“My dad left her for a couple of minutes to go and get something from the car but when he got back it was clear she was not well,” said Laurence. “But because there was no defibrillator on site she suffered irreversible brain damage and died a week later. “Pc Aston asked the manager of the services if they had a defibrillator – but she said no.


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“The ambulance came six or seven minutes later and paramedics used a defibrillator to try to get her heart started again. But if they had one on site, she may well still be alive today.”

A defibrillator is a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest.

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Survival rates as high as 75 per cent have been reported if defibrillation is delivered promptly.

Laurence, supported by wife Claire, 38, and son Tristan, five, has now launched an e-petition to try to force Parliament to discuss the issue.

He believes the lifesaving machines must be made more widely available to spare other families the pain they have gone through.

“I am urging people to please sign this petition to ensure more lives are saved and less people suffer the heartbreak that my family and I have suffered,” added Laurence, store manager of the Hines Road branch of Aldi.

Rosemary, who was diabetic, had stayed at Wrexham hospital the night before, where she was treated for fluid retention on the lungs which affected her breathing – but was given the all-clear that morning.

“She was a caring mother and everyone warmed to her. She always went out of her way to help others,” added Laurence.

“That’s why I’ve launched an e-petition to get all well populated public places supplied with or partly funded for a defibrillator, plus relevant training to be given.

“I need 100,000 signatures to get it debated in the House of Commons. I need all the help I can get.”

Visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40544 to sign Laurence’s e-petition.

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