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Norwich gets new life-saving defibrillator in city centre thanks to determined mum’s mission

PUBLISHED: 17:28 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:29 16 January 2018

Jayne Biggs of Heart 2 Heart, a fundraising service to provide defibrillators which she set up after her daughter, Violet, had a cardiac arrest; with Scot 'Scooby' Atkins, venue services co-ordinator at the Garage, where Jayne has placed a public defibrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jayne Biggs of Heart 2 Heart, a fundraising service to provide defibrillators which she set up after her daughter, Violet, had a cardiac arrest; with Scot 'Scooby' Atkins, venue services co-ordinator at the Garage, where Jayne has placed a public defibrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

A potentially life-saving piece of equipment has been installed in Norwich city centre, thanks to the efforts of a mother who knows very well how it can be the difference between life and death.

Jayne Biggs of Heart 2 Heart, a fundraising service to provide defibrillators which she set up after her daughter, Violet, had a cardiac arrest; with Scot 'Scooby' Atkins, venue services co-ordinator at the Garage, where Jayne has placed a public defibrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJayne Biggs of Heart 2 Heart, a fundraising service to provide defibrillators which she set up after her daughter, Violet, had a cardiac arrest; with Scot 'Scooby' Atkins, venue services co-ordinator at the Garage, where Jayne has placed a public defibrillator. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The defibrillator - which can be used to help people who have gone into cardiac arrest - has been installed outside The Garage performing arts centre.

It has been installed at the Chapel Field North centre thanks to the fund raising efforts of Jayne Biggs, from Bradwell.

She has made it her mission to get more defibrillators installed in the community after her own experience.

Her daughter, Violet, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in February 2013, when she was seven-years-old.

Mrs Biggs and her husband performed CPR on their daughter for seven minutes.

When paramedics got to their home, they shocked her with a defibrillator and performed CPR for a further two minutes - and Violet survived.

But it made Mrs Biggs realise the importance of defibrillators and she set up a charity called Heart 2 Heart Norfolk, raising money to get the devices installed around Norfolk and Suffolk.

She said: “I’m thrilled that The Garage have taken a public defibrillator in the city centre, due to so few being available 24/7. I want to place as many in Norwich city centre as possible because these are lifesaving pieces of equipment.

“If someone has an sudden cardiac arrest with no CPR their chance of survival is 5pc, with CPR alone it is 9pc, but with CPR, the heart in a shockable rhythm, and a defibrillator it raises to up to 70pc.”

The Garage staff will be trained in using the defibrillator, but, as it is housed outside the building, it can be used by anyone in an emergency and is available 24 hours a day.

Adam Taylor, executive director of The Garage, said: “We are so pleased to be able to host this defibrillator to help people in the wider community at large.

“They are such important pieces of equipment, and it is paramount that they are available to all - which makes this a great location for one as Chapel Field and The Garage are hubs for activity all year round. A huge thanks goes to Jayne at Heart 2 Heart Norfolk for making this possible.”

Meanwhile, Heart 2 Heart Norfolk has funding for another defibrillator thanks to Lloyds Bank in Gentleman’s Walk, which held a fundraising day at the branch.

Any local businesses in the city centre who would be able to house the defibrillator on the front of their building should contact Jayne Biggs via ‘Heart 2 Heart Norfolk’ on Facebook or call 07585 604 125.

City councillors last month said more needed to be done to publicise where the defibrillators are available in Norwich city centre - and said more needed to be installed.

In the city centre, there are defibrillators in The Close, at Norwich Cathedral, in Debenhams and at Norwich City Hall.

But the Liberal Democrats said people were not aware of their locations and called for somebody to create an app, so people can find out where they are at the tap of a mobile phone.

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