Pat’s gift could save a life

Visitor experience manager Sarah Aitken with Pat Gardner and a team of volunteers who are learning how to use the defibrillator.
Visitor experience manager Sarah Aitken with Pat Gardner and a team of volunteers who are learning how to use the defibrillator.

A piece of vital life-saving equipment has been installed at the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs centre, thanks to the generosity and dedication of a Yorkshire lady.

Pat Gardner’s husband, Terry, died suddenly in the street in 2009 and since then she has been raising money in his memory to install defibrillators at sites across the county.

So far, she has raised funds for 13 defibrillators, to be placed in historic, heritage and countryside locations which Pat and Terry enjoyed visiting together.

The retired nurse said: “I really wanted to find a useful way of keeping Terry’s memory alive, and funding defibrillators seemed the perfect solution.”

While the team at Bempton Cliffs is receiving training, the equipment is designed to be used by anyone in those crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives and no medical knowledge is required to operate the unit.

Alison Barratt, the RSPB site’s manager, said: “One of the things that makes RSPB Bempton Cliffs so special is its fairly remote location, so having this equipment available on site could mean the difference between life and death for one of our visitors.

“Pat’s tireless work is inspirational and we are very grateful to both her and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service for enabling us to install a unit.”

Pat has carried out sponsored walks and climbed some of Yorkshire’s highest peaks as part of her fund-raising .

Paul Stevens, head of community resilience at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Having easy access to a defibirllator means that immediate life-saving care can be provided in an emergency situation, such as a cardiac arrest, in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.”