The legacy of a north-east teenager who was killed in a road accident has saved nearly a dozen lives over the last year.
Keiran McKandie, from Miltonduff near Elgin, died in March 2016 after being hit by a car while cycling.
It later emerged it took medics nearly half an hour to reach the 16-year-old, and that police who were at the scene did not have equipment to provide treatment.
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Ten defibrillators carrying the name of the Elgin Academy pupil have been carried in police cars across the north-east since February last year following a fundraising drive spearheaded by Keiran’s parents Sandra and Gordon.
Now police have praised the dedication of the family in helping to save lives after it was revealed the equipment has been used 11 times this year.
Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie said: “We’re extremely grateful to Keiran’s family for the generous donation of defibrillators which are carried in our road policing vehicles in the north-east – they are to be commended for continuing to fundraise for lifesaving equipment during difficult times.
“We hope the defibrillators continue to help others and provide something positive from a very tragic incident.”
All of the defibrillators, which are based in Elgin, Aberdeen, Inverurie, Mintlaw and Stonehaven, carried in police cars bear the name of the charity set up in memory of the teenager, Keiran’s Legacy, as well as nickname given to him by his fellow cyclists, “KDAWG”.
As part of the pilot scheme, training has also been provided to road policing officers so they can use the heart-start equipment if they arrive first at the scene of an accident.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead praised the dedication of Mr and Mrs McKandie to create and enduring legacy in memory of their son.
He said: “Gordon and Sandra have achieved a great deal in their efforts to take forward Keiran’s legacy – it’s very clear that their work has helped save lives across the north of Scotland.
“They deserve huge credit for showing such determination at what has been an incredibly difficult time for them.
“People across the north-east are being helped in Keiran’s name and lives have undoubtedly been saved – it’s a very fitting legacy for him.”
Mr and Mrs McKandie could not be reached for comment.
But when the scheme was launched in the north-east, following a donation worth £16,000 from the family, Mrs McKandie said improving emergency responses to ensure that the delay that affected their son will never happen again had motivated the initiative.
She said: “I can’t stand back as Keiran’s mum, or Gordon as his dad, knowing he was in that position and the appropriate help was not coming quickly enough. We need to do something about that.
“Keiran would have said: ‘If you believe something isn’t right, thinking about how you’re going to deal with it is not enough, you need to do something about it.’”