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7:50am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Leader
Villagers in Long Wittenham should be congratulated for coming up with a pioneering and poignant initiative to help save victims of heart failure.
As we report this week, the village’s once-redundant red phonebox has become the first in Oxfordshire to be installed with a heart-starting defibrillator machine. It is an entirely fitting tribute to a young man from the village, 17-year-old Guy Evans, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2008 after his heart stopped.
The need for the rapid availability of such equipment has, of course, been brought sharply into focus on a national basis through the sudden and shocking collapse of Bolton footballer Patrice Muamba in a Premiership match last month — fortunately, he now looks to be on the mend and we wish him well in his recovery.
We commend Guy’s family and friends for their campaigning since his death to raise awareness of the importance of basic first-aid techniques when someone collapses with heart failure. This includes the worthy idea of teaching first aid to the local primary school pupils.
It is knowledge that we should all, perhaps, take time to acquire as any of us, at any time, could then be prepared to step forward to help.
Let us hope that Guy’s family take some comfort from the fact that their tragic loss could now make the difference between life and death for someone else.
This family’s innovative idea deserves much wider exposure than one small Oxfordshire village.