Four more defibrillators added to Lothians

Karen Greechan from the Jamie Skinner Foundation presents a defibrillator to Jacky and Terry McCormack from Lochend Boxing Club. Picture: Toby Williams
Karen Greechan from the Jamie Skinner Foundation presents a defibrillator to Jacky and Terry McCormack from Lochend Boxing Club. Picture: Toby Williams
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JAMIE Skinner’s family has hailed the generosity of Evening News readers and sponsors after splashing out on four more defibrillators.

AC Oxgangs Youth Football Club, Lochend Boxing Club and Fernieside Football Club are the latest to take delivery of the life-saving heart-start machines.

The Evening News joined forces with the Jamie Skinner Foundation (JSF) to campaign for better defibrillator provision across Lothian after the tragic death of 13-year-old Jamie from a cardiac arrest while playing football in December 2013.

His sister Sonia McCraw, JSF president, said: “We are so pleased to be able to give people these much-needed defibrillators.

“It can make such a difference and they are so easy to use.

“We just want everywhere to have one to try to make sure what happened to Jamie doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

The Oxgangs side used a grant from the JSF to snap up the shock box, which has been installed outside the Scotmid opposite their pitch so it can be used by everyone in the community.

Long-running supporters Scotmid funded the installation of the outside cabinet.

Billy McEvoy, coach co-ordinator at Oxgangs, said the club was “over the moon” to finally have the device to ensure the safety of their young players.

Fernieside Football Club has also received a defibrillator for their ground in Gilmerton, helped by a generous contribution from local takeaway Javits.

Another centre to benefit is Lochend Boxing Club, in Sleigh Drive, which now has a heart-start machine donated by the JSF.

Leith Healthy Hearts is an exercise programme which aims to improve the quality of life for people with heart and chest conditions.

The group runs out of the Calton Centre, near Easter Road, where a number of other community organisations also have their meetings.

Morag Hammond, specialist rehabilitation officer for the group, knows how important this vital kit is after she saved the life of one of her clients when he had a cardiac arrest in the gym last year.

Ms Hammond said: “I’m so glad to have the defibrillator as obviously people in my group have had heart problems and you never know what might happen.

“It just gives them a fighting chance.”