Fitting new spot for donated defib at former city vet school

A father-of-two who nearly died when he suffered a cardiac arrest put his renewed lease of life to good use in raising over £8000 for life-saving defibrillators in Edinburgh and has just donated his fifth to help give others a chance of surviving as he did.

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 9:10 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 9:11 am
Mike Pinkerton donates his fifth defibrillator to the City of Edinburgh

Mike Pinkerton and Tom Forster, Festival Programme Curator, Summerhall
Mike Pinkerton donates his fifth defibrillator to the City of Edinburgh Mike Pinkerton and Tom Forster, Festival Programme Curator, Summerhall

Mike Pinkerton, 43, who collapsed while at his local vet surgery in 2015 has gifted the new life-saving machine to Summerhall – the former University of Edinburgh Royal School of Veterinary Studies – which is especially fitting given his life-changing experience occurred in a vet surgery.

Luckily for him, the vet stepped in to start CPR while the ambulance was on its way.

When paramedics arrived, they used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into action.

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Knowing he was lucky to survive, Mike wanted to fundraise to help others who may find themselves in a similar unfortunate situation. He has raised more than £8,000, enough to provide six potentially life-saving defibrillators for public places across the city.

Mike said: “I’m delighted that some of the money I’ve raised has funded a life-saving defib for Summerhall.

“It’s a great venue visited by hundreds of people each day while thousands more walk through or spend time in the Meadows nearby – so it really is an ideal location.

“And with its past life 
as the Dick Vet, it has an 
added poignancy, given I was lucky enough to be saved by a vet!”

The defibrillator has been installed just inside the main entrance to the arts venue.

The easy-to-use unit reads aloud instructions if deployed in an emergency, meaning it is available to be used by staff and visitors alike.

Summerhall staff said they were delighted to be able to host the defibrillator.

Festival programme curator Tom Forster, added: “Summerhall was very keen to get involved with the scheme due to our location in a busy, densely populated area.

“There are few 24 hour access defibrillators in the south of the city, so we were keen to help provide one that can be accessed at all hours in case of an emergency.

“We receive around 1,000 visitors per day, and 200,000 during August alone, so it’s great that we now have this device available.”

The latest defibrillator brings Mike’s total donated to five.

The others have been placed on a tram, at the Boardwalk Beach Club Café in Cramond, at the Museum of Childhood, and at the foot of the Scott Monument.

A sixth is to follow later this year.

The defibrillators have been installed as part of the St John and the City project, run by charity St John Scotland, which has been helping to provide the machines across the Capital over the past two years.

Mike said he was keen to support the project, which altogether has seen more than 120 defibs fitted.

He added: “St John and the City is all about getting more defibs installed in public places – giving someone suffering a cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.

“I hope you never have to use one but, if you do, please be brave enough to give it a go. It’s so easy – and you could save somebody’s life.”