Lancing resident, Mr Trevor Attwell, has financed Lancing’s first publicly-funded defibrillator in memory of his late wife, Peggy.

Back in 1996, Peggy’s life was extended by almost 20 years thanks to the expertise of surgeons working for the health service. Now, to demonstrate his family’s gratitude, Mr Attwell is taking the opportunity to say thank you to the NHS by giving back to the community.

He has funded the purchase and installation of the potentially life-saving machine at Visions Hair Salon in Crabtree Lane as part of a public appeal, launched by the Chairman of Adur, Cllr Joss Loader.  The purchase price was match-funded by the Sussex Heart Charity.

Mr Attwell, of Griffiths Avenue has two sons, Mark and Nigel, and two grand-daughters, Katharine and Sophie. He got in touch with Joss after reading about her campaign to install defibrillators in publicly accessible places in every town and village in Adur.

He said, “In 1996, my wife’s consultant at Worthing Hospital told us, quite unexpectedly, that we were in a touch-and-go situation. That was a massive shock to us both.

“The consultant arranged an almost immediate operation by heart surgeons at St Thomas’s Hospital. Between them, they not only saved Peggy’s life but famously extended it by nearly 20 years.

“My family and I will never be able to repay such a debt but, for me, it’s another opportunity for thanking the NHS and for giving back. Defibrillators have a very important role to play in the life-saving process and having access to one could make all the difference for someone – hospital or mortuary.  The Chairman’s appeal is an excellent scheme. Please be aware and help it expand.”

Mr Attwell and Joss chose the Crabtree Lane site as it offers a central location, free parking and is opposite Monks Recreation Ground.

Joss said, “I am so grateful to Trevor for stepping in so early and for displaying such generosity and community spirit.  This has provided a huge boost for my appeal and I am delighted that we have been able to install the defibrillator well before Christmas.

“I would also like to offer my sincere thanks to Tracy and the team at Visions Hair Salon for allowing the machine to be installed at their property and to P & H Electrical Systems, in Worthing, for installing it at cost price. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive.”

Elsewhere, the appeal has seen new defibrillators being installed at The Bridge Inn, Shoreham, and at Emerald Quay on Shoreham Beach. Funding has also been secured for three more – including one in North Lancing – and locations will be announced shortly.

Joss said, “I am absolutely amazed and delighted by the early success of this appeal. People have been quick to rally round, which is really encouraging and heart-warming, and I am indebted to the Sussex Heart Charity for their generosity and unstinting support.

Joss launched her community-wide appeal after the success of the Shoreham Beach Residents’ fund-raising drive earlier this year and in memory of her late father, Brian Hollebone. He died from a sudden and catastrophic heart attack, aged just 49.