Kintore family support defibrillator campaign

One Kintore family have a really good reason to support the current campaign by Kintore and District Community Council to get more public access defibrillators strategically placed around our town.

The McWilliam family

Jade McWilliam, now 19 years old, had a cardiac arrest at just 15 days old. She was 10 weeks premature and weighed just 2lbs 2oz when she became Britain’s smallest open heart surgery survivor.

The surgeon had to use one finger to massage Jade’s heart when it stopped after they turned off the lung/heart bypass machine. She was put into an induced coma for three weeks and was able to come home at three months.

It is a traumatic story. But the really good news is that Jade is now aged 19 and not only lives a very full life, but hopes to dedicate her career to others with cardiac issues. She is currently in her second year training as a cardiac nurse.

Jade still has four congenital heart defects, but, as her mother Mags says, she has never let her heart issues stop her.

Jade is a Samurai Warrior OSS, World Black Belt at Shotokan Karate.

As a family, the McWilliams have dedicated much of their time to raising funds and training people how to perform to use an automatic defibrillator. Mags, Ian, Jade and their other daughter Iona (15) support the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Training in CPR and defibrillator use

Four years ago they set up a Kintore, Kemnay and District fundraising group. They now have 12 volunteers. The entire family have also become BHF Heartstart instructors and Iona is one of the youngest instructors in the UK.

To date the group has trained no less than 500 people, including primary and secondary pupils.

“We do this voluntarily,” explains Mags McWilliam. “We don't charge for it, because It's important to us to get the message across about how someone can save another person's life by knowing what to do and being able to take control.

“We also teach people how to use a defibrillator and take away the fear and unknown they have about them.”

The McWilliams family are looking forward to the day when publicly accessible defibrillators (PADs), –supplementing the one in The Square – are located strategically around Kintore, ready to save lives.

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