Cardiac arrest survivor Rob Skoulding's defibrillator campaign earns Pride of Britain nomination

  • Pride of Britain nominee Rob Skoulding speaks to ITV News Anglia's Sophie Wiggins

A cardiac arrest survivor who now raises money to install defibrillators around his home town has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award.

Rob Skoulding, from March in Cambridgeshire, knows first-hand the impact of suffering a medical emergency with your heart.

His father Peter Skoulding died of a heart attack in 2009, then in March 2021 Rob collapsed with a cardiac arrest.

"My wife kept me going with CPR and then they put a defibrillator on me and got me back," said Mr Skoulding. "I am living proof that defibs do work.

"I don't want other people to go through the pain I went through. It's not just older people that have problems, it's younger people as well."

"You probably remember [Danish footballer] Christian Eriksen - if he could collapse, as fit as he was, anyone can."

Eriksen collapsed during a European Championships match in the summer of 2021, as millions of fans watched on around the world, and has since recovered and gone on to resume his career.

Each defibrillator costs around £2,000 and Mr Skoulding has installed 30 around the town of March.

Rob Skoulding, from March in Cambridgeshire, says a defibrillator helped save his life when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The latest can also be used on children and has been installed at the local camping ground, which regularly plays host to Scouts, Brownies and Cubs.

Clinton Elkin, Scout camsite warden, said: "I realised on the map that this area wasn't covered, so I spoke with Rob and he immediately got some money sorted out and we have a defib installed here today, which is great."

The aim is to get every person in the town within walking distance of a defibrillator. The ones already in place need to be continually maintained.

Mr Skoulding said: "We have to keep them going, because every three years they need batteries and pads.

"If somebody uses them again we have to put a new battery and pads in, so we'll have to keep raising money for that. Eventually, I'd like to have everyone within five minutes of a defib, anywhere in the town, so it gives them a chance."

Chloe Skoulding, 16, described her father as her "hero" and wants him to be recognised for his hard work.

"I've seen first hand how much effort he puts into everything he does," she said. "Every chance he gets he goes to raffles and tombolas to raise money for his charity."

  • Rob Skoulding is one of eight nominees from ITV News Anglia in the fundraiser of the year category at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, with a winner to be selected for the East and the West of the region.

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