The near-tragedy that made villagers get a ‘defib’

Life saver...Colin Rengger, Mishe Rengger Community staff nurse, Steve and Helen Foster of the Bull's Head in Clipston with the defibrillator.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Life saver...Colin Rengger, Mishe Rengger Community staff nurse, Steve and Helen Foster of the Bull's Head in Clipston with the defibrillator.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

When a fit, keen jogger called James Woodgate suddenly collapsed on a run near Clipston at the end of last year, villagers were not prepared.

They had to revive him with a defibrillator borrowed from the neighbouring village of Naseby.

Mr Woodgate, after some time in intensive care, is now recovering back at his home in Clipston, near Market Harborough.

But the village took note of what had happened, and have now raised money for their own defibrillator.

The vital piece of life-saving equipment will be kept on the wall of the Bull’s Head pub in the village.

Michelle Rengger, a nurse who lives in Clipston, spearheaded the campaign for the defibrillator.

And much of the money was raised in an Easter weekend of fundraising at the Bull’s Head, organised by pub landlord Steve Foster.

The £1,300 raised altogether was enough for the equipment and a reserve fund for a box and batteries.

“I believe every community should have a defibrillator, especially communities in rural areas” said Michelle.

“When you’re out in the sticks, especially if you’re on the border of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, emergency help can take a while to get there.”

Now Michelle is offering to train other villagers in the simple techniques of how to use the defibrillator.

A defibrillator is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats life threatening cardiac problems through the application of electrical therapy.

It allows the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Around 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest each year outside the confines of a hospital, according to the St John Ambulance organisation.

And the chance of survival after the heart stops falls by around 10 per cent for every minute that passes without defibrillation.

“Quick defibrillation can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved” said Michelle.