Heart attack survivors meet lifesaving HART volunteers at The White Hart

JPCT 210113  HART responders lunch with survivors. Dave Fletcher with survivors Erin Makey left and Malcolm Town and Tina Hoad representing her husband Neil. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 210113 HART responders lunch with survivors. Dave Fletcher with survivors Erin Makey left and Malcolm Town and Tina Hoad representing her husband Neil. Photo by Derek Martin
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Volunteers from Henfield Area Response Team had the chance to meet up with some of the people whose lives they have saved.

Among the invitees were the first, last, and youngest heart attack patients they have successfully resuscitated.

Prof Maaret Castrén, Chairman of the European Resuscitation Council, joined them for lunch at The White Hart pub in Henfield on Monday.

HART founder Dave Fletcher told the County Times about their most recent resuscitation at Horton Golf Club three months ago.

“He [Malcolm Town] collapsed on the golf course, right alongside one of the responders,” he said.

“He saw the chap holding his chest, and ran to get his kit.

“When he got back the chap had gone into cardiac arrest.”

Mr Town was particularly lucky - the defibrillator that was used to save him had recently gone flat, and its battery had only been replaced the previous day.

Mr Fletcher said the scheme relies heavily on the support of the community, and they have a constant need for more volunteer responders.

“We always need more, there’s always a turnover,” he said.

“We will never ever be able to give 24 hour cover, seven days a week.

“Our biggest fear is having a serious call and having no responder available, which does happen. It’s very sad.”

Professor Castrén said HART provides an essential service because their responders are able to get to a patient in those vital few minutes after they have a heart attack. In a rural area like Henfield, an ambulance could easily take 15 or 20 minutes to arrive.

“This is the key for our patients,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if the best ambulance comes or the best ICU is available, because they wont matter anymore.”

A HART fundraising supper dance will be held at Henfield Village Hall on February 9. Tickets available from Village Care and Henfield Furnishings.