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Russell takes on a major swim to provide a defibrillator to his community.

Russell takes on a major swim to provide a defibrillator to his community.
Making a difference in your community is something many would like to achieve, but often words are not translated into action. Not so for Russell Higgs though. Russell, a business development manager for Greenhous VW Van Centre Bilston, was subject to the tragic loss of a life-long friend from the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).

SADS indiscriminately affects seemingly fit and healthy young people, and the sad fact is that 12 young people aged 35 and under die every week in the UK alone. At this time there is no official screening program for this condition in the UK.

Russell is taking part in the British Gas Great North 2 mile swim on Lake Windermere to help raise money to have an AED ( Defibrillator) installed in the Tettenhall area of Wolverhampton. It will be placed in memory of his friend, Alex, who passed away in April at the age of 25.  He has set a target of £2,000 which will cover the cost of the supply and installation of the defibrillator. The Great North Swim is Europe’s biggest open water swimming event with around 10,000 participants taking part over three days at the popular Lake District attraction.

Within Russell’s friendship circle they have already raised funds for one unit to be installed in Wolverhampton.  Russell explains his motivation: “It was a terrible shock to lose my friend in such sudden circumstances. Together with his family, we have been raising funds for the charity ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’. Around £10,000 has already been raised and the charity put on screening days to allow the public to have free ECG tests.

“ If I raise the £2,000 the defibrillator will be placed in Tettenhall, near the Tettenhall Pool or by the Dog and Gun pub as this is an area where large number of people visit.  We have to apply for permission to site the equipment as there are regulations and it needs a power supply. Hopefully, with the addition of these AEDs, we can help to prevent more tragic sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) deaths occurring and help to save lives. Any support the public can give will be received very gratefully.”

AEDdonate are a charity that is dedicated to siting and installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the UK. Automated external defibrillators are placed in a heated, vandal-proof and security-coded cabinet that allows them to be accessible for the local community to use in case of an emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Having the AED available to the surrounding community 24/7, will help cut death tolls that are increasing every year. The AEDs themselves are fully automated, meaning any person can use them at any time. All one would need to do is contact the emergency services who would direct them to their nearest unit, give them the code to remove it from its cabinet, and place it on the patient- following the clear and simple instructions that the AED will recite. If the defibrillator is placed onto the patient who is in cardiac arrest within 3 minutes, they will have a 70% chance of survival.

Below are links which gives more of an insight into the fund raising event:

Russell will be very grateful for any support to help him achieve his £2,000 goal.  There are sponsorship opportunities he would be willing to discuss.  E-mail:

Russell is pictured with sales colleague Reagan Shepherd outside the Greenhous VW Van Centre in Bilston.