The family of a Nairn teenager who died after suffering a cardiac arrest at home have donated defibrillators to the town to potentially save lives.
Alex Garrow died last February after suffering a sudden Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) at home.
The 19-year-old was discovered unresponsive by her sister Beth, who raised the alarm.
With the nearest ambulance 30 minutes away and no defibrillators nearby, neighbours began performing CPR.
PCs Karen Kerr and Lyndsay Farrelly were first to arrive on scene, ahead of firefighters and paramedics.
Alex was rushed to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, but died that evening.
Her parents Yvonne and David and sister Beth have now donated five defibrillators to Nairn police station in her name.
The family hope the devices will not only help save lives but prevent local families from feeling the pain of losing a loved one.
Miss Garrow has actively been raising funds for the defibrillators since losing her sister, and has secured more than £5,000.
The 23-year-old admitted she often wonders if the kit could have saved Alex, and said her family will “never be the same again” since the tragedy.
She said: “The police were first on the scene due to an ambulance being 30 minutes away, they took over CPR until the fire service and ambulance arrived with defibrillators which our neighbours and the police did not have access to immediately.
“Sadly despite the best efforts of all involved Alex passed away later that evening in Raigmore Hospital and our family life will never be the same again.
“I am left wondering whether earlier access to a defibrillator would have led to a different outcome for Alex and our family that evening. I hope that with providing defibrillators lives can be saved and families will not go through such heartache like we are.
“On behalf of my family we would like to thank all of those that assisted that evening, we are forever grateful for your best efforts in trying to save Alex.”
Defibrillators will be in police cars
The Garrow family met local officers on Monday to hand over the defibrillators.
The five defibrillators will be carried in marked police vehicles operating out of Nairn Police Station.
Officers have undergone extensive training on how to use the kit.
Chief Inspector Jen Valentine praised the family for their resilience and generosity.
She said: “We are extremely grateful to the Garrow family for their generous donation of this life-saving equipment which will now be utilised by officers operating in the Nairn area.
“Our officers have received training to prepare for the introduction of defibrillators and we look forward to working closely in partnership with ambulance staff to provide enhanced medical aid if required at the scene of serious incidents.
“Alex’s family should be commended for their dedicated fundraising following such a tragic event in their lives and I would again thank them for their generosity.”