A lifesaving community defibrillator has been installed at the Robin Hood pub restaurant in Tunbridge Wells, thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of Sanjay Joshi, Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeon at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW).
Sanjay raised almost £700 by organising a sponsored cycle, covering an impressive distance of 100KM on his bike! Thanks to additional support from the community and the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Community First Responders, the defibrillator (known as a Community Public Access Defibrillator) is now in place and available for public use 24 hours a day.
Sanjay was inspired to fundraise for the installation of the defibrillator in memory of friend Simon Weller, who suffered a cardiac arrest while attending a meeting at the pub earlier this year. Despite the best efforts of Sanjay and MTW nurse Siana Cavanagh, without access to a defibrillator they were unable to revive Simon and he sadly passed away, aged just 46.
Sanjay Joshi, surgeon at Tunbridge Wells Hospital commented: “For every minute someone is in cardiac arrest without CPR* and access to a defibrillator, their chances of survival drops by up to 10%. If a defibrillator is used within five minutes of a cardiac arrest occurring, the chance of survival increases to 74%.
“I am pleased that this equipment is now in place for the community to use should the need arise and hopefully prevent the tragic loss of another life.”
Miles Scott, Chief Executive, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: “It was an honour to be asked to unveil the commemorative plaque in memory of Simon and the installation of this vital life-saving piece of equipment.
“These machines have saved many lives and I know this will be a great asset to the local community for many years to come. Many thanks to Sanjay and the local community for all their hard work to bring this project to fruition.”
The community defibrillator and commemorative plaque was officially unveiled by Miles Scott, Chief Executive, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS on 30 June 2021. Guests included Simon Weller’s family and friends, Sanjay Joshi, Siana Cavanagh, Richard and Sabrina Hand from The Robin Hood pub, members of the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Community First Responders and many other donors and members of the local community.
Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Community First Responders, founded by Fergus Chalmers, are a team of specially trained volunteers responding to emergency 999 calls alongside South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The volunteers will also maintain the defibrillator with help from the pub management team and will raise awareness of the equipment in the surrounding area.
* Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Attached photograph features Marion Ayling (Simon Weller’s sister); Miles Scott, Chief Executive, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust; Sanjay Joshi, surgeon at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust; Richard and Sabrina Hand from the Robin Hood pub; Members of the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Community First Responders and other members of the local community.