1st & 2nd July 2024
Hilton Deansgate, Manchester

An AED survival story: Highland heroes

In July 2018, Kenneth Cooper was on vacation, biking around the Spittal of Glen Muick on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland, looking for archaeological sites. As Cooper descended and approached the visitor centre, he suddenly collapsed from his bike.

Cairngorms National Park Volunteer Rangers Keira Macfarland and Leo Hunt quickly responded. “He was lying on the ground against an outdoor bench. Keira tried to get a response, but he was white. He was not responsive, he was not breathing, and I turned to get the AED,” said Leo. 

Kenneth was experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Fortunately, a ZOLL® AED was only a few yards away, installed by the Sandpiper Trust, an organisation placing AEDs in remote locations. “I actually fell next to the defibrillator,” said Kenneth. “The AED was so helpful; it confirmed that we had the right diagnosis. It gave me a lot of confidence,” Keira said.

Ten miles from the nearest town, Kenneth was far from traditional emergency services. While staff member Sonja Hastie called emergency 999, Keira applied the AED. The device recommended a shock, which she administered. After the shock, Keira continued with CPR, and on the next heart analysis, the AED advised another shock. A group of doctors hiking the trail had stopped to help and took over Kenneth’s care.

“One of the doctors found a weak pulse after the second shock, and they moved him to a recovery position. At that point, we could see he was breathing. It was superb,” recalled Leo. A helicopter, a Scottish Charity Air Ambulance, arrived in 15 minutes. Kenneth was airlifted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, where he woke up four days later.

One month later, fitted with an internal defibrillator, Kenneth returned to Glen Muick to thank his rescuers. Kenneth, advocating for AEDs, said, “I wouldn’t be here without that thing.”

Having access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) could be the difference between life and death. For everything you need to know about AEDs and how they can benefit your organisation, visit seton.co.uk. With over 65 years’ experience, Seton is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of safety and facilities management solutions. 


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