Woodlands residents pull together to afford a community defibrillator

Woodland's Tavern owner Pauline Dermody is overwhelmed by how the community has come together to purchase a defibrillator.
Joanna Griffiths

Woodland's Tavern owner Pauline Dermody is overwhelmed by how the community has come together to purchase a defibrillator.

A near heart attack has brought a little town in Southland closer together.

Residents of Woodlands are in the process of pulling together $3000 to purchase a community defibrillator.

Woodlands Tavern owner Pauline Dermody started the project  after a man had a heart attack scare on his way home from the Crank Up 2017 in Edendale.

The man, in his late 60s, left Crank Up because he was feeling unwell. 

His health continued to deteriorate on the trip home forcing the family to pull over in Woodlands. 

The daughter rushed into local businesses looking for help. 

Dermody quickly rushed out to help. 

"I couldn't find his pulse, I thought he was having a heart attack."

The ambulance was called and Dermody sat and waited with the family for them to arrive.

The man was admitted to hospital for four days and diagnosed with a severe infection.

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Dermody said the man was lucky. 

"If he had of been having a heart attack, there wouldn't have been much we could have done for him."

Even though they didn't end up needing a defibrillator this time, she would have felt more comfortable and safe in that situation if there was one available, she said. 

"It is a peace of mind thing."

The closet defibrillator was in Edendale or Kennington, which was too far away in an emergency, she said. 

"I decided right then and there, we needed to get a defibrillator installed in town."

This wasn't the first time there had been incidents like this in the community, she said. 

"We have had several incidents over the years."

She appealed to the community for help through facebook and the good old fashioned rural grape vine.

The response was outstanding she said.

It was two week since the call was put out, and they had already raised $2075, which for a town with a mere population of about 300 people was pretty impressive, she said. 

"It's great to see the community come together like this to make our town safer."

They were purchasing the defibrillator through St Johns and would consult with them on the best location for the device in town, she said. 

The device was fool proof, she said.

"It is one of those ones that talks to you, so anyone, even someone who had never scene one before, can use it."

Dermody planed to host an information evening about the defibrillator once it was installed. 


 - Stuff


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