Doncaster heart attack victim, 11, condemns theft of lifesaving machine at his local park

A boy aged 11 is furious after a lifesaving machine was reported as stolen from the Doncaster site where he collapsed after a cardiac arrest two years ago.

Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 10:06 am
Dan Fagg and mum Hayley Thomson with the damaged defibrillator, which was reported stolen

Dan Fagg collapsed after he had just scored a goal playing football for Adwick Park Rangers in 2016 - but his life was saved by a quick thinking referee, Chris Crowe, who performed first aid at the scene until an ambulance arrived.

It provoked a major local fundraising campaign to raise money for a defibrillator machine, stored at Adwick Town Hall, next to the pitches, at Windmill Balk Lane.

Dan Fagg and mum Hayley Thomson with the damaged defibrillator, which was reported stolen

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But Dan and his mum, Hayley Thomson, were shocked to hear that the machine was removed from its secure case, on the wall of the building, and dumped around 50 yards away in the grounds of the village scout hut. It was damaged in the incident, and now needs to be repaired.

Dan was shocked twice by the ambulance crew when they arrived in 2016. He had later had an internal defibrillator fitted at Leeds General Infirmary.

Community leaders are astonished how the machine was taken, as it has tough security.

The machine is stored in a locked box, fixed to the wall, which has instructions on how to get to the machine.

Dan Fagg and mum Hayley Thomson with the damaged defibrillator, which was reported stolen

It can only be accessed by calling 999. An operator would then put the caller through to Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which in turn passes on a code to the caller, allowing them to get into the box in which it is stored.

John Mounsey, Doncaster ward councillor for Adwick, is also furious over the incident. He says there appears to be no damage to the box.

He said: "You have to have a code to get into the box, but it doesn't appear to be damaged."

The box was found at the Adwick scout hut at on Friday March 23. The pads which are applied to the patient's chest, were not with it but were found elsewhere, near Adwick Town Hall. But it took four days until the scouts found out where the machine was from.

The machine's casing was cracked, and the pads appeared to be damaged. An expert from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service visited to check on its condition, confirming it was damaged.

Hayley said: "I'm just sickened by this. I was lucky that Dan was at a park with lots of people there who knew what to do. If he had just been there playing with a few friends things could have been very different.

"No one thought at the time that a 10 year old boy would need a machine like this. What happened to Dan opened a lot of people's eyes.

"What happened this week left the fields without a defibrillator for three days. Someone could have died."

Dan added: "I'm angry about this. What would have happened if someone had gone through the same thing as I did, then they found the defrillator was not there, and they didn't make it?"

Dan still receives treatment at Leeds General Hospital as a result of his heart incident. and recently had a wire refitted. He still enjoys playing football but cannot play for three months after his latest operation.

Mr Mounsey added: "There is a boy out there who is lucky to be alive, yet we have scumbags who seem to have taken away that lifeline for people who have a cardiac arrest."

He is urging with anyone with information on the incident to contact the police.

Police confirmed the defibrillator had been reported stolen from Adwick Town Hall on March 25, and urged anyone with information to call 101 quoting investigation number 14/48933/18.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said they had not received any calls asking for access to the defibrillator at the hall, and no codes had been given out.