Mom Installs 20 Defibrillators Around Town After She Loses Teen Son to Cardiac Arrest

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A British mother found a meaningful way to channel her grief. She’s getting 20 defibrillators installed across her hometown after her 18-year-old son went into cardiac arrest, and the nearest kit was locked away in a school.

Jamie Rees was at a friend’s house when he collapsed in the early hours of New Year’s Day. West Midlands Ambulance Service said the holiday was exceptionally busy, with three other emergency calls coming in directly before theirs.

Though his friends performed CPR, he did not get enough oxygen before paramedics arrived and he died in hospital on January 5.

His mom, Naomi Rees-Issitt, has since enlisted friends and family to raise enough money to equip Jamie’s hometown of Rugby with 20 defibrillators.

“There are defibs out there (but they) are locked in buildings,” said the 43-year-old.

“You can’t pre-plan your cardiac arrest. Defibrillator’s that are locked in buildings are pretty pointless.

“The ambulance pulled up to Jamie’s side in 19.5 minutes,” Naomi explained. “If you reach a person in cardiac arrest in seven minutes the chances of getting his heart beating again is 70%.”

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