Former mayor's life saved by defibrillator he helped campaign for

Credit: Trevor Batchelder

When a former mayor helped to raise money for a defibrillator in his home town he never imagined he would be the first person to benefit from it.

Trevor Batchelder was about to watch the 10 o'clock news when he started experiencing pain in his chest.

The 71-year-old went to his wife who, as a retired nurse, recognised the signs immediately and knew by her husband's grey skin and clamminess he was having a heart attack.

Sheila Batchelder dialed 999 straight away and as paramedics made their way to their home in Wilton, near Salisbury, the controller asked if there was a defibrillator nearby.

The 70-year-old organised for the defibrillator her husband had campaigned for as mayor to be brought to the house.

The defibrillator is one of three life-saving devices in Wilton. Credit: Viktor Berg, Valley News, South Wilts & North Dorset

"It was uncanny because when we opened it, we asked who is going to be the first user," Trevor told ITV News.

Sheila started carrying out chest compressions and gave him three shocks from the defibrillator, but the ambulance service had to administer 12 more when they arrived.

Trevor needed a total of 15 shocks before a pulse came back, but he said he wouldn't have been alive if it wasn't for the life-saving device.

"There's no question about it," he said.

"It was critical, no doubt about wife could only do CPR for so long.

"The instructions given by the unit were so clear and so concise, and very simple to understand, it was a game changer.

"I would not have survived the course if that defibrillator wasn't available."

The 71-year-old said it was 'uncanny' as he wondered who the first person would be when the defibrillator was installed. Credit: Trevor Batchelder

Trevor was put into an induced coma, but his wife and daughter, Nida, were "advised not to keep their hopes up."

"I had been without air for too long and in their view to come out of this without any brain damage, if I came out of it at all," he said.

"But I came round and I was watching people's eyes when they spoke to me, so they understood straight away I could recognise commands from that, and then the rest is history, so they say."

Sheila told ITV News the doctors were so amazed at how quickly he recovered.

"Trevor walked out of hospital and is now making excellent progress," she said.

"There is no doubt that having an accessible defibrillator close to hand saved Trevor's life."

Defibrillators give cardiac arrest patients a high energy electric shock to the heart. Credit: PA

The current councillor at Wilton Town Council helped to raise the money for the defibrillator while he was the mayor of the town.

Trevor said: "We had one defibrillator donated by Wilton Rotary, but it was very clear, it would be very useful to have more of these units.

"My priority was to get another one underway, and the residents of Wilton were very generous in their support for that, we managed to get two more defibrillators."

Mr Batchelder is trying to increase awareness about their importance and installing the defibrillators in areas which are accessible 24 hours a day.

"In some places, they may be behind a bar, or places overnight. They need to be accessible at all time, as I needed the one that saved my life at 10.30pm at night," Trevor added.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

This high energy shock is called defibrillation, and it's an essential part in trying to save the life of someone who’s in cardiac arrest.