Quick thinking saves visitor’s life

Kenneth Cooper is pictured with volunteer rangers Keira Macfarland and Leo Hunt.
Kenneth Cooper is pictured with volunteer rangers Keira Macfarland and Leo Hunt.

A man who collapsed at a remote Deeside beauty spot came face to face recently with the volunteers who saved his life.

Kenneth Cooper was visiting Spittal of Glen Muick on the Balmoral Estate last month when he took ill at the visitor centre..

Luckily, Cairngorms National Park Volunteer Rangers Keira Macfarland and Leo Hunt were hear at hand and responded immediately they heard cries for help from Mr Cooper’s friend.

Keira ran to help and quickly realised that Mr Cooper was not breathing and his heart had stopped after suffering a sudden Cardiac Arrest. Leo reached for the defibrillator that had been installed by The Sandpiper Trust and, together with passers-by, the two worked quickly, performing CPR and using the defibrillator.

Balmoral staff member Sonya Hastie called 999 and, due to the remote location, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) was deployed alongside a road ambulance and Dr Mcleod, a local British Association of Immediate Care Scotland (BASICS) responder. SCAA airlifted Mr Cooper to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where he spent a short time before returning home.

Keira said: “It was a real team effort and that extends to all those generous people who support the two charities that provided the essential equipment we had access to. This is fantastic tribute the work of the Sandpiper Trust who had the vision to place an AED in such a remote location and I cannot describe the feeling of relief on hearing the arrival of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. These two local charities really do save lives!”

The public access defibrillator was donated by the Sandpiper Trust to Her Majesty the Queen to place on the estate. It was located at Glen Muick because of the high visitor numbers it attracts.

Mr Cooper said: “I cannot ever properly express my gratitude to all concerned in my rescue. Although I cannot remember anything about it I know it was an incredible effort by the whole team, especially Keira and Leo who used their training to great effect. I am also indebted to Sandpiper Trust for installing the defibrillator, the National Park for training their people and the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance for a fantastically quick response and for taking me to Ninewells Hospital where their superb cardiology unit put me back together. My experience really does show the need for more defibrillators in remote areas and training for the people on the ground.”

The public is being asked help the Scottish Ambulance Service and the British Heart Foundation to map all public access defibrillators across the country. If you have a public access defibrillator installed in your community please ensure it is registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service at http://www.scottishambulance.com/YourCommunity/pad.aspx. Anyone wishing to learn how to deliver CPR can contact the Sandpiper Trust on admin@sandpiperwildcat.co.uk