New Defibrillator for Rhondda Could Save Lives - Leanne

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Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has helped to unveil the first defibrillator for her hometown.

The Penygraig resident took part in an unveiling ceremony involving Reverend Haydn England-Simon at the equipment’s permanent home, mounted on the wall of the old Communities First office next to the old library on the town’s high street – Tylacelyn Road.

Ms Wood said the defibrillator was something that may have saved the life of her grandmother had it been around in 2002 when she had a heart attack on the street in Penygraig 16 years ago.

“I would like to thanks everybody who raised money to make this happen,” said Ms Wood. “Welsh Hearts, the congregation of St Barnabas and a local electrician who fitted it for free have all come together to ensure Penygraig now has a defibrillator.”

She added: “We have high rates of heart conditions in the Rhondda - my grandmother died in her early sixties of a heart attack on the street in Penygraig back in 2002 - had we had a defibrillator, her life and countless others may well have been saved.

“So many of our families are affected by heart problems. We need to all make sure as a community we look after this vital piece of kit and that we make ourselves familiar with it so that we all know what to do, should that emergency arise.”

Plaid Cymru Penygraig Councillor Josh Davies, who attended the ceremony, said afterwards: “I would like to thank everyone at the St Barnabas for raising this money. It is great to see the community coming together in this way. This defibrillator is there for a reason. If any emergencies happen, it can now be used to potentially save a life.”

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