A THIEF who stole a defibrillator from Shaw town centre has put lives in jeopardy.
That’s the message to the culprit who removed the life-saving piece of machinery from outside Sports Physio UK on Market Street.
“For us to get a replacement is paramount,” says SP UK co-director Scott Woodhead.
“The last thing I want to hear is someone having a heart attack on Market Street and that person dies, knowing if the defibrillator had still been there that person might be alive.
“Whoever has taken it hasn’t thought ‘if I take this someone might die’.”
But the crime also is personally distressing because of the initial reasons for installing the defibrillator in memory of tragic schoolboy Ashley Livesey.
The 15-year-old brother of SP UK co-director Lucy Livesey died while representing his school, Royton and Crompton, at a cross -country race.
A fund-raising campaign to replace the kit is already more than halfway towards the total of £1,000.
Scott hopes to have a new defibrillator installed within a month.
The theft was discovered when a 999 call was made on Monday, January 29, 2018 by a member of the public attending to a suspected cardiac arrest issue.
“It has been reported to the police but there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the box,” he explained.
“Anyone who needs to use the defibrillator is given a code to open the box, a code we have set ourselves.
“Our fear and worry is that over the years someone has discovered the code and instead of forgetting it in the heat of the moment has actually remembered it and now come back to open the box.
“Why anyone would want to steal it, I don’t know? Could they sell it on Ebay? It’s just mindless.
“With a defibrillator available there might have been a small chance Ashley could have been saved.
“At that time the family started raising funds of defibrillators in the local community.
“Because of Lucy’s links with Sports Physio UK we made it our nominated charity.
“Every year as a company we give our time free at various races and ask for a nominal £5 donations for the treatments.
“That money all goes in the pot to buys defibrillators. We put one on the wall here in 2015, we put another one at Stubbies Gym and another at the rugby club.
“It takes us a few years to raise the money but we pride ourselves on doing so. To have one stolen was a massive shock.
“Luckily it has never been used to save a life but it has been used quite a few times as a precaution.
“It has been there to serve a purpose and we need one back.”
uu To help Sports Physio UK replace the defibrillator donate on their Just Giving page: