Lifesaving heart machine stolen from Doncaster market prompts ‘bring it back’ appeal from widow

When she lost her husband to a heart condition, Doncaster widow Pat Gardner was determined to buy defibrillators in his memory.

Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 10:27 am
Updated Friday, 17th May 2019, 12:19 pm

But when she discovered that the one she had bought for Doncaster market had been stolen, she was shocked and upset.

Now, the 72-year-old from, Balby is urging anyone who may have have the machine, used to revive patients whose heart fails, to return it.

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Handing over the defibrillator, back in 2013, was Pat Gardner (second left) with Doncaster Markets facilities manager John Clarke, business relations manager Amy Lindsay and Yorkshire Ambulance Service's community defibrillator trainer Warren Bostock.

Pat lost husband Terry after he died as a result of his heart condition in 2009, He was aged 63.

It prompted her to launch a fundraising campaign to buy defibrillators for locations all across Doncaster and for some other places in Yorkshire that she and Terry used to enjoy together. They included both Cusworth Hall and Brodsworth Hall, as well at the Corn Exchange at the market.

She took part in a sponsored walk to York, climbed Kinder Scout and did the Three Peaks Challenge to raise the money for 16 machines.

The machine at the market was stolen in April 2018 – but Pat only discovered it had done earlier this year.

Pat said: “Terry and I enjoyed wandering round the market.

“When I found out what had happened I felt hurt and angry – it was very personal. It felt like an insult. It has been replaced, but it is the original I want to see returned. It was donated as a gift. I would be happy if someone dropped it off at the council building. I’m appealing to someone's better nature

She added: “I would be grateful to anyone who has information that may help to locate and recover this defibrillator.

“To whoever stole the defibrillator, please consider what you have done. It was donated to honour the memory of a very special person.

“I want you to understand hurtful you actions have been, to tell us where it is or return it where it belongs.”

Doncaster Council confirmed the machine had been stolen and replaced

Any one who has the defibrillator can return it to Doncaster Council’s civic offices on Waterdale.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is backing Pat’s appeal.

Emma Scott, community resilience manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service added: “Yorkshire Ambulance Service is very supportive of organisations and communities that install defibrillators which can greatly increase the chances of survival for a patient in cardiac arrest.

“In situations like this time is of the essence and having this equipment available quickly is vital. There is a vast amount of good work taking place across Yorkshire in the form of fundraising and installing defibrillators, whether that be in premises or making them available 24/7 in communities.

“Pat Gardner donated this defibrillator to Doncaster Markets following a huge effort to fundraise for it in memory of her husband and we strongly condemn the actions of those who took this life-saving equipment. Whilst the equipment has been replaced, it would be great if the missing defibrillator was returned.”