Heart-safe efforts may bring award

By Ian Dipple Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 09:15

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Buy photos » Ann Delaney, seen here unveiling one of the public defibrillators installed in Alcester with members of the community, has been nominated for a St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Award. (s)

A WOMAN who spearheaded Alcester’s bid to become a heart safe town has been nominated for a national award.

Ann Delaney is among those shortlisted for a St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes award in the First Aid Champion category.

Following her brother’s cardiac arrest 15 years ago, which left him brain damaged, Ann has campaigned tirelessly to prevent people from dying unnecessarily. Ann herself has been diagnosed with the inherited heart disorder which has made her susceptible to irregular heartbeats and as a result underwent surgery to have an internal cardio-verter defibrillator fitted, to protect her from having a cardiac arrest.

She began to fund-raise to have an automated external defibrillator - a machine which restarts the heart - installed at her daughter’s school and quickly gathered support from the community.

As a result Ann found herself leading efforts to try and make Alcester the UK’s first heart safe community.

So far enough money has been raised to place the life-saving machines in four of Alcester’s schools, its football and rugby clubs and on the High Street. Alcester Grammar School already had a defibrillator.

Five of the devices are in public areas meaning they can be accessed 24 hours a day giving people the best possible chance of survival in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Ann said: “I am so pleased St John Ambulance has recognised what has been a great community effort in raising awareness of the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, particularly in the young. The willingness of people to raise funds and learn how to use the equipment has been truly inspiring and I am proud to have been a part of it.”

The winners are set to be announced at a ceremony in London next month.

Visit www.sja.org.uk/everydayheroes to vote for Ann to win. Voting closes on Sunday, March 2.

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