The family and friends of much-loved Wilmslow paramedic who tragically died before Christmas have been fundraising so they can install heart defibrillators in his memory.
So far more than £6,000 has been raised to fund defibrillators in memory of Paul Walton, who sadly collapsed at Wilmslow High School in December.
"If someone suffers a cardiac arrest commencing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and getting and using a defibrillator on them in as short a time as possible gives them the best chance of survival" says Sara Harris, family friend and colleague of Paul's.
She added "Literally seconds count. For every minute that a patient doesn't have access to a defibrillator and CPR their chance of survival drops by nearly 10%."
Paul, father of four, was very actively involved in supporting his local community, in sports, music and beavers as well as mountain rescue.
Sara said "His warm and witty personality combined with his extensive knowledge was a benefit to all. He strived to provide first class support, whether he was at work as a paramedic or at play.
"Paul spent his life helping others so in his memory we want to place as many defibrillators within the community as possible."
In the UK there are more than 60,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests each year – but fewer than 1 in 10 patients survive to leave hospital. However, according to the Resus Council UK, immediate bystander CPR and the use of a defibrillator before an ambulance crew arrives can dramatically increase the chance of survival to more than 50%.*
But Sara says that whilst this is great news it is only possible if there is easy access to defibrillators and people trained in CPR right across our communities.
"It's no good businesses, sports clubs and other organisations thinking that because there is a defibrillator a 5-minute walk away it's OK. It's not. That's just too late for the patient.
"What a tribute to Paul it would be if we can put as many defibrillators as possible across our communties as well as training people in CPR. If we can save just one life then we would be continuing Paul's work and he would have been utterly delighted."
If you would like to contribute to the campaign visit the JustGiving page.
Sara aded "If you are a local business and can support the campaign you can also contact us from this page."
* (source Resuscitation Council UK).