Heart scare survivor campaigns for defibrillators at Falkirk area train stations

A Falkirk man who survived two cardiac arrests – actually dying at one stage – is now calling for life-saving defibrillators to be installed at local railway stations.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 12:05 pm

Sean Inglis (39) was lucky to survive one heart scare, let alone two in quick succession earlier this year.

Now he wants to use his personal experience to ensure no one else in his situation is left without the life saving equipment they require.

Sean said: “Back in April I suffered a cardiac arrest due to an arrhythmia, which they believe is caused by a viral infection. I made it to hospital on my own and within 10 minutes I suffered a cardiac arrest.

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Sean Inglis revisits Polmont Railway Station where he had a cardiac arrest

"I died for a few minutes but they were able to bring me back. Then a few weeks later, after they installed an internal defibrillator into my chest, I was travelling from Falkirk High Station to Edinburgh.

"When we arrived at Polmont Railway Station I collapsed. The train stopped and staff, British Transport Police and members of the public came to my aid. I overheard them discussing trying to find a defibrillator, but the closest one was in Edinburgh.

"They were arranging to have that one brought to Polmont.”

Thankfully Sean’s recently fitted internal defibrillator kicked in and did its job, saving his life.

"Defibrillators must be reachable within minutes, as every minute that passes in such a medical emergency reduces the chances of survival of seven to 10 per cent. So there must be a defibrillator either at the station or on the train itself.

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“If I had not had my own device in my chest, I would have certainly died. We must do better, with millions of people travelling that route every year people will need our help, they will need a defibrillator.”

To enable this, Sean has started a Just Giving page to raise the £5274 required to install defibrillators at Falkirk, Polmont and Linlithgow railway stations. He has so far topped the £300 mark.

“My aim is to purchase three defibrillators and lockers and place them in train stations between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Each defibrillator costs £1152 and a further £606 for their security locker.”

Before starting his campaign, Sean contacted ScotRail to find out why there were no defibrillators at the stations.

A spokesperson said: “In 2019 ScotRail secured funding from Transport Scotland to install 34 defibrillator units across our station network. Since the initial installation, we have engaged and collaborated with stakeholders, including Scottish Ambulance Service, to support the installation of an additional 15 units, bringing the current total of defibrillators at ScotRail managed stations to 49.

“While we cannot guarantee we will be able to roll out units across all of our stations and trains, we do recognise that there is more to be done in this area. We are continually looking for opportunities to secure funding and increase the availability of defibrillator units across our station network.”

Sean said: “My aim is to assist them with this – but I need help. It will save lives.”

Visit Sean’s Just Giving Page for more details and to donate to the campaign.