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The heart of Solway

Two determined friends from Holdsworth Villas in Masterton have raised funds to purchase a community defibrillator for the Solway area.

Robbie Dean and Pauline Jury ran three raffles and gathered the donations needed to buy the potentially life-saving automated external defibrillator [AED] for $4329.

In fact, the women raised almost $4666 and said the difference would be donated to Wellington Free Ambulance [WFA].

The new AED was installed by WFA on June 6, behind Chardonnay Motor Lodge on High St, and is available for anyone in the community to use 24-7.

“It started when we did a Heartbeat course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] with WFA,” Dean said. “They explained that we could purchase a defibrillator for our area.”

The woman formulated a campaign, organised the raffles and “did lots of walking delivering pamphlets into letterboxes”.

Defibrillators are devices that send an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. If the heart suddenly stops, defibrillators can help it beat again.

WFA trains people how to use an AED through The Lloyd Morrison Foundation Heartbeat programme. The programme is free of charge to anyone in the community.

“We hope there’s no need to use the AED, but if someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, we know that we have one close by and can help until an ambulance arrives,” Dean said.

Before now, the nearest community defibrillator available 24-7 was at Solway Showgrounds. Holdsworth Villas’ main artery is William Donald Drive, which joins High St.

WFA would maintain the machine, Dean and Jury said.

The friends have lived at Holdsworth Villas for several years, and said now the successful fundraising was over and the AED was installed, they would “rest and enjoy peace and quiet in [their] gardens”.

WFA spokesperson Cheryl Watson said the organisation has trained 554 people in CPR in the last six months in Wairarapa.

“Knowing CPR is a vital skill for everyone to have, as you never know when it might be needed to help save a life.”

The Lloyd Morrison Foundation also supports ongoing costs for hundreds of publicly available AEDs across the region, Watson said.

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