Help me get more defibrillators into public places, appeals cardiac arrest survivor

The Westmorland Gazette: Bridge Brice (pictured front right) with the team who helped save her life in November Bridge Brice (pictured front right) with the team who helped save her life in November

A GRANDMOTHER who survived a terrifying cardiac arrest is now opening a charity shop to raise vital funds to get more life-saving defibrillators into public places.

Bridget Brice, 71, from Ulverston, nearly died last November after suffering a cardiac arrest while boarding a train at Lancaster Railway Station.

It was only the swift intervention of a team of complete strangers - including the commandeering of a public defibrillator on the platform - that saved her life.

Bridget, a former doctor's receptionist to husband John, is now opening a temporary shop for a couple of months with friend, Avril Sweeting, also in her seventies.

It will go in the former Stead and Simpsons shoe shop in King Street, Ulverston, selling clothes, bric-a-brac, books and other items.

It officially opens this Saturday but volunteers and the public are needed to give donations and support the shop's opening hours.

The pair have opened temporary charity shops twice before - the first after the Asian tsunami in 2005, which raised £25,000, and the second after the Pakistan floods of 2010, which brought in £14,000.

The shop will also raise money for three other charities - Alice's Escapes, named after inspirational Ulverston teenager Alice Pyne, which provides free holidays for families with a seriously ill child.

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Other charities to benefit from the shop include a dedicated refuge for oppressed women in Bangladesh, and a malaria-immunisation programme in Sierra Leone.

Mrs Brice said: "We really need people to help and bring something in or let us know if they need something picking up. The proceeds of everything we sell will go to the charities - there is no manager and no-one is getting paid.

"I have to emphasise that we will sell everything. We don't smile sweetly and then chuck it away out the back."

Mrs Brice is also keen that local schools get on board either by training pupils to learn what to do in a cardiac arrest situation, or getting more  defibs on their premises.

The cardiac unit that saved Mrs Brice's life cost £800 and delivered the life-saving jolts of electricity which first stopped Mrs Brice’s irregular heart spasm, and then restarted it to its natural rhythm.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) hailed those who helped as a perfect response in the ‘chain of survival’ – the actions needed to help someone survive cardiac arrest in a public place.

The NWAS is carrying out a campaign called Cardiac Smart to get more defibs in public places and more people trained to use them.

Following the incident, Mrs Brice was in intensive care and hospital for 17 days, but recovered sufficiently to enjoy a family Christmas with her family.

If you can help, call Mrs Brice on 01229 584468 or Avril Sweeting on 01229 587074.

You can find out more about the Cardiac Smart campaign at www.cardiac smart.nwas.nhs.uk

Comments (1)

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8:05pm Wed 20 Mar 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

That's a very apt comment, 'We don't just smile sweetly and throw it out the back.' I once took a donation into a Sue Ryder Shop and, as I went out the door, I heard two women at the till say, 'More books!' It wasn't an expression of delight. This Ulverston shop sounds more worth helping.
That's a very apt comment, 'We don't just smile sweetly and throw it out the back.' I once took a donation into a Sue Ryder Shop and, as I went out the door, I heard two women at the till say, 'More books!' It wasn't an expression of delight. This Ulverston shop sounds more worth helping. Milkbutnosugarplease
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