Father mourning ex-wife campaigns for defibrillators at work

A bereaved father, whose ex-wife died from a heart attack at the age of just 43, is campaigning for every business in the UK to provide a defibrillator.

Chubb Fire & Security UK&I training manager David Lund is petitioning the government to make it law that businesses giving members of the public access to their premises must supply, maintain and make available automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

The company is backing his petition by taking action to make sure every one of its 21 branches across the UK and Ireland has the life-saving equipment.

Hayley Lund, who lived in Wellingborough and worked as a temp in an HR role, collapsed while at the vets with her daughter Megan, 22.

“My ex-wife passed away at the end of April following a sudden heart attack,” said Mr Lund. “She was 43 years young and had the rest of her life devoted to our two children, Luke and Megan.

“The shocking realisation is that there is no legal requirement for businesses (particularly those who give access to the general public) to provide an AED.

“Only around 5% of ‘out-of-hospital’ heart attack cases survive. This is an appalling statistic and needs immediate action.”

Ms Lund had no prior health conditions her family had been aware of, however she had woken in the night – a month before she died – and called an ambulance after struggling to breathe.

She had a full panel of tests at the hospital, but was told she had a problem with her ribs. Tragically, Ms Lund texted her former partner the next day saying, “I thought I was having a heart attack.”

Recently released research shows that women are twice as likely to die after a heart attack than men, although there is a perception that the condition is predominantly a male issue.

They also get half the number of heart attack treatments as men, according to research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Mr Lund said he believes that the initial cost of the AED and maintenance to replace shock pads, coupled with a non-enforceable statutory requirement for provision of this equipment, may be deterring businesses from installing defibrillators.

In the run-up to British Heart Week, (June 7-15) he has published a petition directly with the UK Government calling for the following actions:

  1. The pre-VAT cost of AED equipment to be included in the business annual tax return. What this means for the business is what they pay for the equipment is written off against their business tax bill, essentially making the equipment free.
    2. The pre-VAT cost of all associated accessories to be included in the business annual tax return. This means the cost of replacement pads should they be used or go out of date are also covered.
    3. To make it law that requires businesses giving members of the public access to their premises to supply, make available and maintain AED equipment.

Currently, there is no legal requirement for UK workplaces or public spaces to have a defibrillator – although schools are the exception and must have at least one AED on the premises.

David’s petition already has 1,411 signatures. It needs 10,000 signatures before the government will respond to the petition, and 100,000 to be considered for debate in Parliament.

On the day of the funeral, Mr Lund said, “As I walk her in to the church today, I’ll be feeling a great sense of gratitude to those who have supported my campaign so far.

“I also remain positive that there are so many more who haven’t signed yet and this offers me great comfort as there’s still mileage in this petition.”

He says the news that his son Luke, 24, is having a baby with his girlfriend is a ‘ray of sunshine’ amidst the tragedy, but says both children have been hit extremely hard by their mother’s tragic death.

“I don’t want any other children to suffer the way my kids have,” he added.

To support David’s petition visit: Require AEDs in publicly accessible businesses and make tax deductible – Petitions (parliament.uk)

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