A dad who fell ill while out with his family has thanked the police officers who saved his life – using a defibrillator bought in memory of a north-east teen.
James Geraghty fell ill and lost consciousness while parked in a lay-by in Bridge of Don.
His frantic wife Pauline and young son tried to pull him out the car and were helped by passers-by who began to administer CPR.
Two police officers, who were on a routine patrol, were flagged down and raced to help – bringing with them a defib donated by charity’s Keiran’s Legacy.
‘They gave me another chance’
The charity, set up in memory of Elgin teen Keiran McKandie, aims to equip all police cars with the lifesaving piece of kit.
PCs Tim Addy and Dave Robb used the machine on Mr Geraghty after taking over CPR from those at the scene.
PC Addy gave the 39-year-old two shocks which helped him regain consciousness, and he was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he remained for three weeks.
Mrs Geraghty thanked the woman and her two daughters who stopped to help before the police arrived.
She added: “If it wasn’t for the police coming in with the defibrillator and using it, we may not have James with us today – they saved his life.”
The father-of-three has now recovered and is back working as a warehouse supervisor.
He believes if the police did not have the defib in the car, he would not have survived.
“I actually owe them my life,” he said. “If the police didn’t have the defibrillator I probably wouldn’t be here today.
“It technically saved my life and gave me another chance.”
The two officers played down the praise, and said it was a case of “right place, right time”.
The defibrillator used on Mr Geraghty is one of 10 in he north-east that was donated by Keiran’s Legacy, and PC Robb backed the charity’s efforts to equip more cars with the kit.
Elgin Academy pupil Keiran was just 16 when he died after being hit by a car while out on his bike in March 2016.
Since the tragedy, his parents Sandra and Gordon have worked tirelessly to provide the emergency services with defibs in the belief that if one had been available, it could have saved their son.
PC Robb said it was “crucial” police cars have the kit.
He said: “I think Keiran’s family have done a good job getting these devices out into the cars that are there so far, and if anything, I would like to see them in more motors.
“It’s crucial that you have these things to hand rather than having to wait several minutes, maybe longer, which could determine whether someone lives or not.”
Incident shows need for more defibs in more cars
Officers across the north-east have deployed the defibs 71 times and used them on 24 occasions since they were
Since being installed in police emergency response vehicles across the north-east in 2017, officers with the defibrillators have been deployed 71 times and used the kit on 24 occasions.
Mrs McKandie said: “Keiran’s Legacy is delighted that one of the defibrillators supplied by Keiran’s Legacy was used to save Mr Geraghty’s life and that he has got time to spend with his family that could have otherwise been very different.
“This continues our relationship with Police Scotland and we hope this will be a catalyst to roll out further defibrillators to the other police divisions across Scotland.”
Mr Geraghty said he hoped more would be installed in emergency vehicles across the country.
“There will never be enough to help save a life,” he said. “But we need people to donate and fundraise as much as they can, every little helps if it helps save a life. There’s no price for a life.”
He was echoed by his wife, who argued all police cars should have the kit since officers are usually first on the scene.
She added: “I can’t thank them all enough. If it wasn’t for all these people I wouldn’t have a husband and my kids wouldn’t have a dad.”