Friends rally around to organise fundraiser to buy defibrillators for St Ives after man has heart attack in town centre

St Ives town centre.

St Ives town centre. - Credit: Archant

Friends of a woman who resuscitated a heart attack victim in St Ives are holding a fundraising event to buy defibrillators for the town.

Nicola Bryant, 21, was on her lunch break with her friend Ellie Buckley, 22, on Friday, December 20, when a man in his 90s fell in Market Hill and went into cardiac arrest.

Miss Bryant successfully resuscitated him before Magpas Helimedix arrived to take over.

He was taken to Papworth Hospital where he showed signs of recovery but he died a few days later.

Miss Bryant’s friends have now set up a fundraising black tie event at Slepe Hall Hotel, St Ives.

Called Keeping the Heart of St Ives Alive, it will take place on March 1 and will raise money to buy three defibrillators.

Miss Bryant, of Westwood Close, told The Hunts Post: “I was shopping with my friend when we saw a man fall on to a car and then the pavement. We dropped our bags and went over. Ellie called the ambulance and I put him into the recovery position.

Most Read

“I realised he had stopped breathing so I started CPR. A doctor and a friend, Shaun, also helped. Ellie ran around the town looking for a defibrillator but the nearest one was at the One Leisure, which was too far.

“We managed to bring him back to life and the ambulance arrived and took him to Papworth. I called every day to see if he was okay.”

She added: “Only a week before I had done my first aid training for my personal trainer course.

“I’d never even put a plaster on anyone before, let alone carried out CPR. It was scary, but you just put your thoughts behind you and put the person first.”

Mathew Setchell, 34, of Needingworth Road, St Ives, who has helped set up the event, said: “Nicola was in the pub talking about it and I thought it shouldn’t be that money dictates whether people live or die. My granddad is getting on a bit so it could happen to him. It could happen to any friend or family member, so I set up the fundraiser.

“We hope to raise about £5,000. The last one we did, in 2012, raised £10,000 for a St Neots child to pay for a wheelchair and adjustments to her home to make her life easier, so we should be able to manage it.”

Miss Bryant said: “I don’t want to go through that again, but if I do, having a defibrillator in the town will help anybody in that situation.”

Defibrillators would be placed in the Tap Room, Local Cafe and Golden Lion.

The evening includes a three-course meal, entertainment from Charlie and the Funk Factory and auction including a weekend break on the Norfolk Broads, jewellery from St Ives designer Paul Spurgeon, Cambridge Corn Exchange tickets, DJ training and a Star FM introduction to radio.

INFORMATION: Starts 7pm. Tickets are £45, tables of 10 are available from Slepe Hall Hotel. Email for tickets or if you would like to donate an auction item.

Should all Huntingdonshire town centres have defibrillators? Would you be willing to help with the fundraising? Email