A Skye man who started the Lucky2BHere charity to raise funds for a single defibrillator has praised his volunteers as more than 30,000 have been trained in emergency lifesaving skills.
Ross Cowie suffers from a genetic heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, which took the lives of his father at 40 and his aunt at 18.
He set up Lucky2BHere 10 years ago – a charity which has gone onto generate over £1 million and distribute more than 600 defibrillators.
Mr Cowie said: “We always said if we managed to save one life then it would all be worthwhile.
“If we can get emergency lifesaving training into the curriculum of every school in Scotland then that will be my job done.”
In recent days, 200 guests came together to celebrate the contributions of the numerous volunteers, trainers and fundraisers, with some people whose lives have been saved thanks to some of the defibrillators also in attendance.
One such man is popular Gaelic singer Donar MacIver.
Mr MacIver had been performing at a concert in Poolewe before falling unwell mid-song and collapsing.
Thanks to the speedy intervention of medics in the audience, including a trained nurse, a local firefighter and an off-duty ambulance technician, Mr MacIver was treated with a defibrillator kept in the building.
Mr MacIver said: “If it wasn’t for Lucky2BHere, I wouldn’t be here.
“In January 2016 I was singing at a ceilidh and all of a sudden I felt unwell.
“Fortunately for me, there were a team of professional people about and within four minutes they all got me back.
“I am pleased to see how it has grown and it really is a worthwhile thing, as I know to my cost.”
The Lucky2BHere charity has now aided numerous communities around Scotland, mainly in the Highlands and Islands, gain access to the lifesaving machines and has even formed a partnership with Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club.
Over 200 staff – including first-team players – have been trained in valuable cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills as well as how to operate a defibrillator.
Support has also been received from renowned Celtic rock band Runrig, with Malcolm Jones auctioning off his guitar from their farewell The Last Dance performance to raise funds for the charity, as well as providing music at the charity’s grand ball last Friday.
Video credit: Hugh Campbell