Bristol father takes on 1000 mile bike ride to raise awareness for more public defibrillators

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A Bristol man has set off on a one-thousand-mile bike ride from Land’s End to raise money for more public defibrillators.

Emilio Mazzotta is taking part in the ten-day ride to John O’Groats in Scotland in memory of his daughter’s boyfriend Sam Polledri.

Sam died on a night out in February this year, after he suffered a cardiac arrest in Millennium Square at just 24 years old.

Friends who were with him at the time were unable to use any of the five nearby defibrillators, due to them being locked away and unregistered.

On the night Sam died, his mum Louise received a call from paramedics at around 11pm telling her to go to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Sam died before reaching the hospital.

His family feel that if a defibrillator had been accessible, Sam would have stood a much better chance of survival.

Sam Polledri pictured with girlfriend Lisa Mazzotta

Emilio’s wife Teresa Mazzotta urges businesses to register their defibrillators.

She said: “Anyone that has got them inside, please pick up the phone and register them so that the ambulance people know where they are when somebody needs one.

“That’s all we’re trying to make people aware of.”

The family have since funded a defibrillator near where Sam died and wants to do more to raise awareness and prevent a similar situation from happening again.

Emilio Mazzotta said: “For something like this to happen to a 24-year-old is just unimaginable.

“We hope to spread the word about defibrillators and raise as much money as we can.

For Sam’s girlfriend Lisa Mazzotta, although she’s proud of her Dad, fundraising brings mixed emotions.

“I’m happy and proud of them for raising money and awareness, but it’s just unfortunate that this had to happen to Sam, this shouldn’t be happening to anyone.

“Sam was only 24, he was young, fit and healthy- always in the gym and always joking around, he was the life of the party.

“He was always singing, dancing and such a great cook, we had a lot of great times together and I’ll miss him forever.”

Emilio Mazzotta and his cycling partner will complete 100 miles a day for the next ten days in memory of Sam.