Medical lifeline to Lewis after fundraiser

A defibrillator system (stock image).
A defibrillator system (stock image).

Communities in Lewis are being offered a potential lifeline after a fundraising drive donated a defibrillator to an island medical centre.

The equipment – which would be used if someone suffered a heart attack and a doctor wasn’t immediately available – was paid for through a marathon effort by staff from The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC).

The fundraising activity, organised by the Sandpiper Trust, saw more than £5,000 raised to support a campaign to improve immediate emergency care, especially in remote and rural areas. It will pay for five defibrillators in total, with the Lewis equipment among the first to be delivered.

Dr Peter Greenstock, who works as a locum in the North Tolsta and Greater Broadbay areas, said the equipment could save lives, “Nobody ever expects to suffer a heart attack, but when the worst happens, it goes without saying that people need medical help as soon as possible.

“By having a defibrillator available, the chances of reaching someone in cardiac arrest is increased, meaning their chances of survival also dramatically improves.

“Working across a large area this new technology will help to offer a potentially life-saving service, which will be a welcome addition to our existing set-up.”

The money was raised by 90 members of staff last year and forms part of The Scottish Salmon Company’s commitment to working alongside and supporting the communities in which it operates. A defibrillator was recently donated by SSC to a medical practice in Benbecula.

Craig Anderson, Managing Director of The Scottish Salmon Company, said, “I’m very proud of our staff and their drive and determination to raise funds for such a worthy cause. We fully understand the challenges of operating in remote and rural communities and believe it’s important to work together to find solutions that could make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“By donating a defibrillator to Lewis we’re improving access to potentially life-saving medical help, with the mobile nature of the technology perfectly suited to the area. “In total we’ll be donating five machines to medical practices across the West of Scotland, as part of our ongoing commitment to support and invest in local communities.”