A BARRHEAD man who suffered a heart attack on a gym treadmill is backing a campaign to install defibrillators around town.

Chris Hughes, who went into cardiac arrest two years ago, said a combination of defibrillator shocks and CPR kept him alive.

The quantity surveyor, who had no prior health problems and attended the gym up to six times per week, is now supporting efforts by Barrhead Rotary to widen access to the lifesaving devices.

Chris, 53, said: “When I was first getting back to health, it was my intention to do my best to raise funds and get a number of public access defibrillators installed in Barrhead. Then I noticed that Barrhead Rotary had started a campaign, so I got in contact and am happy to do whatever I can to help.

“I was one of the lucky ones who lived but survival rates for sudden cardiac arrests which occur away from hospitals and health centres can be very low.

“There will be people in Barrhead who have passed away because there has not been an accessible defibrillator nearby. Hopefully, having some installed will save lives.”

Barrhead Rotary wants an initial set of 10 public access defibrillators (PADs) installed around Barrhead.

Various businesses and organisations have backed the Levern Valley Defibrillator Community Partnership, with the Auchenback Resource Centre among those to express interest in having a device installed.

Neilston and Uplawmoor First Responders have also offered support.
Douglas Yates, a member of the Rotary Club of Barrhead, has welcomed the endorsement from Chris.

He said: “Chris has a marvellous story to tell. He is very lucky to be alive and I wonder how many more local people have been revived from a cardiac arrest because of having a defibrillator used on them.

“Chris will join the Rotary Club of Barrhead in our fundraising efforts, using any influence and contacts he has to secure this equipment for the town.”

With the 10 initial sites identified, fundraising for the PADs is now underway but Chris does not believe plans should stop there.

He added: “With Barrhead being the size that it is, it will eventually need more locations for defibrillators.

“This will obviously be a big task for everyone involved but I really think that, if the people of Barrhead pull together, we can make sure that, if someone has a cardiac arrest, they have a fighting chance of survival.”