St Mellons man is crowdfunding life-saving device

6 December 2016

A forty-nine year old pharmacist from Old St Mellons is crowdfunding a defibrillator for his community.

Phil Bullen (pictured) decided to raise money to buy the device, which gives a high energy electric charge to the heart, after suffering a cardiac arrest last year.

Mr Bullen has so far raised around £400 of the £1500 needed to install the automated electronic defibrillator and provide training on how to use it.

He says £1,500 is a small price to pay to save lives.

Mr Bullen had his heart attack just two days after he was away snowboarding. He’s always prided himself on his fitness and goes to the gym three times a week.

“One morning I woke up with an achy pain in my chest… I was feeling really sweaty and clammy and then I had the pain in my left arm… So I rang 999 straight away and said, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack, you better come and get me.’ I didn’t still quite believe it… It came completely out of the blue.”

The experience has made him more aware of heart attacks.

“I always thought, as many people do, that it’s a disease of age… But the more and more you read about it, the more younger people are having these conditions.”

Mr Bullen was lucky he did not arrest until he was in the ambulance.

According to the charity Welsh Hearts, which helps raise money to put defibrillators in public places, the survival rate after a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital is just 3%. Where a defibrillator is used, the survival rate is 47%.

Mr Bullen says the crowdfunding campaign is going well so far with a number of local businesses contributing large amounts.

“I’m hoping, because it’s taken off so well, that we’ll actually be able to raise funds for more than one.”



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