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Second defibrillator installed in Deeping St Nicholas in honour of resident





A village split by a railway crossing has had a second defibrillator installed to avoid another tragedy.

Friends, family and community stalwarts paid tribute to Deeping St Nicholas resident Gloria Dunham, who tragically died last year as loved ones desperately attempted to get her the much needed lifeline.

Gloria, 64, was suffering from emphysema and a chest infection when her lung collapsed last April.

Family, friends and community campaigners turned out for the official unveiling of the new Deeping St Nicholas defibrillator
Family, friends and community campaigners turned out for the official unveiling of the new Deeping St Nicholas defibrillator

As her cousin Amy Cook-Nykyforczuk and a district nurse tried to to resuscitate her, a friend headed out to the nearest defibrillator but, with the railway crossing which divides the village down for a train, they sadly couldn’t make it in time.

“She was lovely, she helped everybody out. She was the kindest person,” said daughter Katie Hodgkin at the official unveiling of the new village-centre defibrillator on Tuesday last week (July 2).

“I am very proud to see this go up. Thank you to everyone for doing this in honour of my mum and I hope it can help anybody who will need to use it.”

The defibrillator was erected in memory of resident Gloria Dunham
The defibrillator was erected in memory of resident Gloria Dunham

Amy, who unveiled the defibrillator with cousin Katie, added: “If it saves one person’s life then it’s a miracle.

“If it makes one less family have to go through what we have then it’s worthwhile.”

The installation of the new defibrillator, placed on New Road, was orchestrated by the Deeping St Nicholas Good Neighbour Scheme and funded by three £250 ward budget donations by South Holland district councillors Angela Harrison, Jim Astill and Bryan Alcock.

And to make it a real community effort, a number of locals also donated their time, expertise and materials to help with the installation and running.

Deeping St Nicholas isn’t a large village, but due to its long nature, being stretched out along the A1175 - and with a railway track running through - residents feel it is important to ensure easy accessibility to defibrillators.

“There are four in the parish but there wasn’t one here,” explained Good Neighbour Scheme chaiman Rob Jarvis, who is also a parish councillor.

“The British Heart Foundation want to see a defibrillator within three minutes of everybody’s house.”

Family members were touched to see tribute paid to Gloria, a huge Manchester United fan, in the Red Devils’ matchday programme, but even more moved by the defibrillator, which has the important potential to save the lives of others.

Coun Harrison described Gloria’s passing as ‘shocking’ for the community, adding: “It highlighted the fact that another defibrillator was needed in the heart of Deeping St Nicholas, our most highly-populated area.

“It’s one of the longest villages in the country and this is the most densely populated area. This will make a big difference.

“It’s one of those things you don’t realise you need until you need it.”

Coun Astill echoed those sentiments.

“This is exactly what ward budgets are for, helping these kind of community projects,” he said.

“We’re happy to help. There needs to be more around here.”

While using a defibrillator may be daunting to some, the kit includes a step by styep guide - both visual and electronically spoken - to aid users through the important process.



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