When a Musselburgh shop owner raised the funds for a life-saving defibrillator, he hoped he’d never have to use it.
But when an elderly man dropped to the ground just metres from his shop, quick-thinking Neil Wilson was able to bring him back from the brink of death with the heart starting device for which he had raised the cash.
Neil, president of the Rotary Club of Musselburgh, was in Gordons Chemist a few hundred metres from his own shop when 85-year-old John Brown collapsed.
As dispensary assistant Fiona Dornan began CPR, Neil dashed to grab the automated external defibrillator (AED) from the wall outside his shop and within minutes the machine had administered a heart-starting shock that paramedics later said had saved Mr Brown’s life.
“The adrenaline kicked in,” Neil explained. “I have dealt with first aid situations before and passionately fundraised for the AED but since it was installed a year ago, have never used it.
“It is hard to put into words what was going through my head at the time,” he said. “I have dealt with people who have split their head, broken their hip, but there has always been a sign of life. But there was none with Neil and for that machine to work its magic alongside the CPR is just amazing.
“The paramedics said we gave John the best chance of surviving and there was nothing more we could have done.”
Fiona said it was a terrifying moment when the OAP collapsed during her shift on Tuesday but her natural instinct kicked in.
“The patient came in for a routine prescription,” she explained. “He passed out and I was on the phone to 999. I was alarmed and it was very scary but your instincts just take over to preserve someone’s life.
“I was completely overwhelmed but the main thing is the patient is recovering well. Without Neil and the defibrillator I don’t know what the outcome would have been.”
Mr Brown’s family gave their heartfelt thanks in a Facebook message with John’s great niece Rosenna Elton saying: “We can’t thank you all enough for your incredible actions yesterday.
“Thank you for giving my great uncle the time of day. And to the lady in the chemist. Both of you have undoubtedly saved his life.
“My family really appreciate this incredible act of generosity you all have shown. Thank you again.”
Neil said the incident was a shock the town needed to come together and raise money to buy more external defibs.
“There are only two external defibs in Musselburgh and with a population of 20,000 we could quickly raise enough for more.
The Rotary Club of Musselburgh initially raised the £1500 for the AED unit outside Wilson’s greengrocers and is now focussing its efforts on raising more.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/neil-wilson-aedmusselburgh