Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome, Mark Atwell and Terry Ayres, CEO of Sussex Heart Charity

Life-saving defibrillator donated to Brighton Dome in memory of music fan

Brighton Dome has accepted the donation of a new defibrillator to the Concert Hall. Mark and Nigel Atwell gave the life-saving device in memory of their late father, Trevor Atwell who regularly attended concerts at the venue.

Trevor passed away at his home in Lancing in the autumn from an unexpected heart condition. Last year, he supported Lancing’s first publicly funded defibrillator in memory of his late wife, Peggy. Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome welcomed the donation from his sons Mark and Nigel, following their late father’s legacy of enabling emergency life-saving equipment to be available in public venues.

Remembering his father, Mark Attwell said:

‘He was a friend of Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and went to all of their concerts here at Brighton Dome, so we thought this was an appropriate place to have it located. My mum had a history of heart problems and when she passed away, my father donated the defibrillator to Lancing and we wanted to do the same in his memory. He was fit as a fiddle and it was a shock that he died very suddenly at home from heart failure. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anybody and if there is no emergency help immediately available, it can reduce a person’s chance of survival.’

The donation was arranged with help from The Sussex Heart Charity, an independent charity that supports heart care throughout the county. One of their initiatives has been to place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in as many places as possible in Sussex.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens to approximately 30,000 people every year in the UK and can occur at any time, often without warning. If defibrillated within the first minute of collapse, the victim's chances of survival are close to 90 percent. The chance of survival decreases the longer defibrillation is delayed. Thanks to the generosity of Mark and Nigel Attwell and their friends and family, staff and visitors to Brighton Dome now have access to two AEDs, enabling them to provide vital medical assistance at the venue.

Terry Ayres, Chief Executive Officer, The Sussex Heart Charity added:

‘Placing this equipment in busy places like Brighton Dome, means that anyone suffering a cardiac arrest in that location can be helped quickly and will improve their recovery rate. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mark, Nigel and their family and friends for supporting our work in this very special way.’

Brighton Dome’s defibrillators, located at stage door, both have clear instructions, assess the heart rhythm and will only allow a user to shock if needed. External medical company Epione supply an additional third defibrillator at every show at the venue.