Heart defibrillator installed in local park following family campaign

Mesnes Park defibrillator Photo
Mesnes Park defibrillator
A local woman who lost her brother to a cardiac arrest last year has campaigned for a heart defibrillator to be installed in Mesnes Park pavilion.

Lynn Harrison’s brother, Neil Rigby, passed away in 2017 when he participated in the Pennington Flash colour run. Although defibrillators were available at nearby locations, Lynn felt there was a delay in getting the equipment across to her brother.

Wigan Council’s corporate land management team and Lynn’s ward councillor, Phyllis Cullen, worked hard to grant the necessary permissions to install the defibrillator, which now has pride of place in the park’s café.

Speaking about her triumph, Lynne said: “I’m delighted that there’s now a defibrillator available in the park.

“I’ve grown up coming to Mesnes Park and wanted to make a difference to others who use it because there’s a lot of events and activities that take place here. I’m hoping there isn’t a need for the defibrillator to be used but at least it’s another step taken to hopefully prevent another family going through what we have.

“My end goal is to install defibrillators in other locations that need them including public buildings and schools. I’d be keen to work with the council to achieve this but at the moment, I’m happy with what we have managed here and I’m sure Neil would be proud.”

Milliken, an industrial manufacturer based in Wigan, donated the money to buy the defibrillator and Lynn purchased the plaque and box the equipment sits in.

The council’s greenspaces team who maintains the park, the Friends of Mesnes Park volunteers and the pavilion staff will all be trained on how to use the defibrillator in case of an emergency. Lynn hopes that by training more people, there will be less chance of a delay of help should somebody need assistance in the future.

Councillor Nazia Rehman, portfolio holder for resources, finance and transformation at Wigan Council said: “Lynn and her family should be extremely proud of this achievement, which has come following sad and unfortunate circumstances.

“They have turned their experience into something positive and potentially life changing for another person.