Edinburgh dad who nearly died after cardiac arrest thanks stranger for saving his life

Victoria Crawley from The Beach House and Donald Scott with the defibrillatorVictoria Crawley from The Beach House and Donald Scott with the defibrillator
Victoria Crawley from The Beach House and Donald Scott with the defibrillator
An Edinburgh dad who nearly died when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest has thanked a passer-by who stepped in to save his life.

Donald Scott, 49, from Duddingston, was walking through Waverley station on the way to meet friends to see a Festival show in 2018 when he collapsed.

A passer-by and a British Transport Police Officer began CPR and called for help. They used a defibrillator to restart his heart while the ambulance was on its way.

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A year after recovering from his ordeal, Donald has thanked the stranger for saving his life. And after teaming up with charity St John Scotland he has funded a defibrillator which has been installed at The Beach House on Portobello Promenade.

Mr Scott took part in the Kiltwalk, walking 24 miles through Edinburgh and raised more than £2,000 for the equipment.

Donald said: “My life was saved thanks to a passer-by who recognised that I was seriously unwell and performed immediate CPR before using a defibrillator to restart my heart. Without his quick actions I wouldn’t be here today and I’ll be forever grateful to him for his help that night.

“Once I had recovered I found out that I had collapsed only a few metres away from the defibrillator that had been used to save me and that it had been installed by St John Scotland as part of their St John and the City project. I also read about how CPR and the use of defibrillators can greatly increase the survival chances in cardiac arrest cases such as mine.

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“I am pleased that the money I raised by doing the Kiltwalk has allowed St John Scotland to buy another one of these life-saving devices. I would like to thank everyone who supported me.”

The defibrillator has been installed as part of St John Scotland’s St John and the City project, which has seen more than 190 defibrillators placed across Edinburgh and the surrounding areas since it was launched in 2015.

Volunteer Lynn Cleal, who leads the project, said: “Donald is living proof of how important defibrillators are in increasing someone’s chances of surviving if they have a cardiac arrest. We’re so grateful that he chose to raise money to provide another life-saving device for the benefit of everyone who lives near or visits Portobello Promenade.”

She continued: “Cardiac arrest can sadly happen to anyone, and in these times it’s more important than ever that if someone’s life is in danger, people can step in while the ambulance is on its way to give them the best chance of survival.

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"Once Covid restrictions are lifted, we plan to offer CPR training in Portobello so people can come learn how they can save someone’s life and see how easy it is to use the defibrillator. In the meantime Donald’s defibrillator has been registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service so anyone who needs it can access it 24/7 in an emergency.”

Sara Christey, from The Beach House said: “The defibrillator has been sited next to The Beach House on the fence of Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club, a charity founded by my late husband, Jonathan Bendit. The Beach House and Trustees of PSKC are delighted to have been able to support this generous initiative.”

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