Tragic dad's legacy helps rugby club play life-saving role

Tom Churchward, left, Chris Jones, right, of MEC Facilities Ltd

Tom Churchward, Honiton Rugby Club player manager, left, with the defibrillator, which was installed by Chris Jones, right, of MEC Facilities Ltd - Credit: HRFC

Honiton Rugby Club have received a new life-saving defibrillator from a West Country charity set up in memory of a young father who died of a cardiac arrest.
The generous donation comes from Jay’s Aim, whose volunteers are working with sporting clubs around Devon to ensure that vital life-saving equipment is available at grounds and venues.
Jay’s Aim was created after the death of Jay Osborne, who was only 28 years old when his heart stopped whilst on a run through Exeter on Father's Day in 2017.
The new dad had only just moved to the city from Bude with his fiancée Sam and his baby son, Remy.
Jay had an unknown hereditary heart condition, which was only picked up at his post mortem examination
His family came together and decided to create a charity “to somehow make a difference to help reduce the number of young people suffering sudden cardiac death in the area he lived in and loved”.
In just 18 months, Jay's Aim had trained over 2,500 people in CPR and 20 defibrillators had been provided across Devon and Cornwall, including Exeter's Guildhall Shopping Centre.

The charity is “sports based with a particular focus on young people” and many of the defibrillators have been placed at schools and community sports clubs, as well as busy pedestrian areas.
Aim stands for “assess, inform and make a difference”.
Assess – To promote the cardiac screenings provided free of charge by a brilliant charity called Cardiac Risk in the Young. One in 300 people will have potentially life-threatening heart conditions. These can normally then be managed or cured through lifestyle changes, medication and in some cases surgery.
Inform – To visit schools, colleges, universities, sport clubs and workplaces teaching CPR and training people how to use defibrillators.
Make a difference – To provide public access defibrillators in places of need throughout the South West. The charity tries to ensure all its defibrillators are available all of the time and are registered with the emergency services. If a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within three to five minutes of cardiac arrest, survival chances increase from six per cent to 74 per cent.”
Honiton RFC said: “With hundreds of members, both senior and junior, we are grateful for the donation, and whilst we hope it doesn’t have to be used, it’s great to have this at the club.”

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