Monday, 5 November 2012

Heart campaign revisted by Echo

Many people I have worked for will know my colleague and friend Mike Brough. He is a first rate designer and graphic artist who I have known for more than 25 years. Together we have redesigned more than 80 newspapers and magazines and Mike regularly delivers sessions on our training courses. In the summer Mike had a heart attack while playing football at Darlington's Dolphin Centre. His life was saved because, having left the centre after the game, he had the presence of mind to return. The centre had a defibrillator and trained staff and within two hours Mike was sitting up in a hospital bed, stents fitted. Mike, 51, is now back at work and fully recovered. On the back of his experience The Northern Echo, where Mike and I first met, launches a campaign tomorrow for more life-saving defibrillators in gyms and in public places. A poll by the paper revealed that 80 per cent of private gyms do not have one. As part of the campaign the Echo has bought its own defibrillator and is training staff to use it. It is not the first time the paper has campaigned for better heart care. Twelve years ago, it launched its A Chance To Live campaign aimed at cutting the waiting times for heart bypass surgery. It followed the death at 38 of another friend and colleague, Ian Weir. Ian, the father of two young boys, was a brilliant photographer, (he took the pictures at my wedding) who died of a second heart attack after waiting nearly eight months for a triple bypass. The campaign helped persuade the Government to bring British waiting times in line with the rest of Europe. Well done to Echo editor Peter Barron for, once again, throwing his paper's weight behind the critical issue of improving heart care. And well done to Mike, who has just been given the all-clear to grace the five-a-side court again.

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