He was swimming in memory of his friend, Alex, who passed away in April at the age of 25. He had set a target of £2,000, but at the latest count the amount has exceeded £3,000 which will cover the cost of the supply and installation of two defibrillators.
Russell says of his swim: “There were 10,000 participants at the event. We set off in batches of 800, in our case on the 2 mile course. There were different distances that could be chosen from half a mile up to 10 Km. I did my swim in just over an hour which I was pleased with.”
Russell was supported by members of Alex’s family including his mother, Sue and sister Rachel. He says: “Rachel has visited local shops and raised donations for the cause. Shop keepers are pleased to support as they want to see a defibrillator in their area. Friends are taking up other events and I am going to repeat the swimming next year, but I may go for the 5Km distance.”
Their efforts to raise funds for the charity AEDdonate, a charity that is dedicated to siting and installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the UK, will provide these AEDs in the community preventing more tragic sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) deaths occurring and help to save lives.
Alex’s parents intend to sponsor a screening day at which people can have an ECG on their heart. It will be manned by heart specialists and other NHS staff but it costs £15,000 for the one day event.