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Vandals destroy life-saving public defibrillator in Gorleston

PUBLISHED: 16:45 12 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 13 February 2017

Defibrillator vandalised at Gorleston Links Bowls Club February 10. PHOTOS: Jayne Biggs

Defibrillator vandalised at Gorleston Links Bowls Club February 10. PHOTOS: Jayne Biggs

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The mother of a seven-year-old girl whose life was saved by a defibrillator has said she is “devastated” after a life-saving machine she installed for the benefit of the community has been destroyed by vandals.

Defibrillator installed at the Gorleston Lawn Bowling Green near the clifftop. Michael Defibrillator installed at the Gorleston Lawn Bowling Green near the clifftop. Michael "Micky" Cox, a cardiac nurse at the James Paget Hospital and Jayne Biggs Heart. Photo: George Ryan

For nearly three years Jayne Biggs has made it her mission to ensure residents of the Great Yarmouth area have access to a defibrillator - a device which saved the life of her daughter Violet, who is now 11.

“The reason I do this is personal as this equipment saves lives and I feel very blessed that Violet is still alive.

“But when I saw the defibrillator had been left in the rain and the cabinet smashed I just cried as I was so devastated,” said the 45-year-old from Bradwell.

The public defibrillator was found on Saturday morning (February 11) behind Gorleston Links Bowls Club house by club secretary Ken Tickner.

Defibrillator vandalised at Gorleston Links Bowls Club February 10. PHOTOS: Jayne BiggsDefibrillator vandalised at Gorleston Links Bowls Club February 10. PHOTOS: Jayne Biggs

Ms Biggs explained the cabinet of the life-saving device had been smashed and the defibrillator had been left out in the rain for the duration of the previous night.

The defibrillator had been installed in November last year, following Ms Biggs’ fundraising efforts, to serve the community, members of the bowling club and runners of the nearby Parkrun.

She added: “I honestly believe that someone will know who has done this but that person does not realise how important this is.

“It could save someone’s life- how would they feel if they or their relative went into cardiac arrest needing a defibrillator and there wasn’t one available?”

The defibrillator at Gorleston Links Bowls Club is one of 17 machines that Jayne Biggs has helped install in key locations up and down the east coast of Norfolk.

As well as fundraising to purchase the life-saving machines, she also provides CPR and defibrillator training to schools and community groups with the help of cardiac nurse Michael “Micky” Cox from the James Paget University Hospital.

This incident of vandalism has been reported to Norfolk Police who were unavailable for comment.

A fundraising page has been set up to fund a replacement defibrillator.

To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gorleston

RELATED STORY: Bradwell girl meets the paramedics who saved her life

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