Life-saving defibrillator for Grangetown church in memory of local resident
A church in Grangetown Cardiff has been gifted a life-saving defibrillator in memory of a church member who cared for her husband following his heart attack.
The defibrillator was purchased for St Dyfrig and St Samson in memory of Betty Cotter who looked after her husband John for five years when he developed Alzheimer’s following a heart attack. Tragedy struck again in 2006, when Betty’s niece Margaret suffered a heart attack during mass at the church and died a week later.
Betty and John were well loved members of the congregation. Betty was a member of the choir, a Reader, a cleaner, Churchwarden and an active member of the Mothers’ Union.
Betty’s son-in-law, Fr Jeff Williams, a retired parish priest living in Grangetown says, “When Betty died, her family thought that it would be fitting to donate in her memory a defibrillator to the church and community that she loved.
“We thought it would be of benefit to all who worship at St Dyfrig and St Samson, as well as the surrounding community.
The church is in the business of saving souls in a spiritual sense, and so purchasing the defibrillator for the church was important the family.“
The defibrillator will be installed outside St Samson and St Dyfrig Church in Pentre Gardens where the public will have access to the life-saving equipment. It will also be placed on a defibrillator register so the Emergency Services can direct anyone to its location and provide the necessary unlocking combination.
Fr Edward Owen, priest in the Parish of Grangetown, says, “It is important for us a church to be part of the community we serve, and we are very grateful that Betty’s legacy has enabled us to reach out to the community with love. We have blessed the defibrillator in preparation for its installation. We are also organising defibrillator training courses in the New Year.”
Fr David Morris, Save a Life Cymru Partnership Co-ordinator for the Diocese of Llandaff, says, “I’m delighted to learn that one of our churches has purchased a defibrillator to be made available to the local community.
“It’s a brilliant practical memorial to a loved parishioner and a wonderful example of how something life-giving can emerge out of an experience of grief and loss.”
In May 2021, Church in Wales partnered with Save a Life Cymru and are supporting the Touch Someone’s Life campaign. The aim is to encourage people to learn the basics of resuscitation so they can help in an emergency.
Churches across Wales have been asked to participate in this initiative and consider installing a defibrillator or donating one to the local community, or to complete basic first aid training.
Fr David, who is also Dean and a Trustee of St John’s Cymru says, “Save a Life Cymru is a campaign funded by the Welsh Government to increase the survival rate in Wales of those who experience a cardiac arrest, by creating awareness of the basic steps of CPR and the chain of survival, as well as making defibrillators more widely available.
“Many of our churches are at the heart of Welsh communities and I hope others will follow Grangetown’s example and help save lives.”
Visit Save a Life Cymru for more information about applying for a defibrillator. Touch someone's life | GOV.WALES