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Nairn police accept donation of defibrillators from family of woman who died in the town

By Donald Wilson

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Chief Inspector Karen Kerr with firefighter John McGowan, PC Lyndsay Farrelly and Beth and Yvonne Garrow. Picture: James Mackenzie
Chief Inspector Karen Kerr with firefighter John McGowan, PC Lyndsay Farrelly and Beth and Yvonne Garrow. Picture: James Mackenzie

Police in Nairn have accepted a donation of defibrillators from the family of Alex Garrow.

Five devices will be carried in marked police vehicles operating out of Nairn police station as a result of the family’s fundraising.

Alex’s death on February 19 last year was caused by Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Police officers were the first emergency responders on the scene and assisted with CPR before the arrival of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service.

Alex was later taken to hospital but sadly died later that evening.

Her sister Beth has raised funds for defibrillators since and said: “On 19 February, 2021 I lost my little sister Alex due to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). I found Alex unresponsive and proceeded to phone 999 whilst getting my neighbours who performed CPR on her.

“The police were first on the scene due to an ambulance being 30 minutes away, they took over CPR until the fire service and ambulance arrived with defibrillators which our neighbours and the police did not have access to immediately. Sadly despite the best efforts of all involved Alex passed away later that evening in Raigmore Hospital and our family life will never be the same again.

“I am left wondering whether earlier access to a defibrillator would have led to a different outcome for Alex and our family that evening. I hope that with providing defibrillators lives can be saved and families will not go through such heartache like we are.

“On behalf of my family we would like to thank all of those that assisted that evening, we are forever grateful for your best efforts in trying to save Alex.”

The Garrow family – Beth along with her and Alex’s parents Yvonne and David - officially handed over the devices.

Among those present were Constable Karen Kerr and Constable Lyndsay Farrelly who were the first on scene and provided CPR to Alex.

Chief Inspector Jen Valentine said: "We are extremely grateful to the Garrow family for their generous donation of this life-saving equipment which will now be utilised by officers operating in the Nairn area.

“Our officers have received training to prepare for the introduction of defibrillators and we look forward and working closely in partnership with ambulance staff to provide enhanced medical aid if required at the scene of serious incidents.

"Alex’s family should be commended for their dedicated fundraising following such a tragic event in their lives and I would again thank them for their generosity."

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