Defibrillator for Mansfield Woodhouse shop run by man who had shock heart attack

One of three defibrillators, bought for Mansfield Woodhouse, is to be placed outside a shop run by a man who himself suffered a shock heart attack.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 10:42 am

Karl Fisher, 37, was given just an eight per cent chance of survival when he was rushed to hospital in December, 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was also told there was an 89 per cent chance of my heart never beating properly again,” said Karl.

"It happened while I was in bed. At first, I thought it was just indigestion and ignored it.”

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Heart-attack survivor Karl Fisher (centre) with the defibrillator that will be installed outside his Swish Flooring carpet shop in Mansfield Woodhouse for public use. Karl is flanked his his sister, Keeley Fisher, who is the shop manager, and employee Tyler Jones.

In fact, he had suffered one of the deadliest kind of heart attacks, known as the widow-maker, which stops all blood-flow to the left side of the heart. It had been triggered by high levels of stress.

Luckily, doctors saved him, fitting a stent. And although he is now on “about eight tablets a day”, he is fighting fit.

So how appropriate that his carpet shop, Swish Flooring, on High Street, is to benefit from a fundraising campaign by the nearby gym, The Fitness Box, to buy defibrillators for public use in the village.

Karl, a floor fitter for 20 years, only opened the shop last October, but it is doing roaring trade. “It has been really busy,” he said. “This is a good community.”

Gym owner Lloyd Scott and fitness instructor Carol Atherton (both centre) take part in an Ironman Challenge at The Fitness Box that helped to generate money to buy three defibrillators for Mansfield Woodhouse.

As part of his appreciation for the doctors and nurses who saved his life, Karl gives ten per cent discounts to all NHS staff “because I wouldn’t be here without them”.

What’s more, he plans to spend the first two weeks of July raising money for the British Heart Foundation by tackling Wainwright’s coast-to-coast walk.

Spanning 193 miles, the walk will take him from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast in the west to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire in the east, passing through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

Karl is to set up a JustGiving page to raise money, while sponsorship forms will also be available in his shop.

The new defibrillator for public use outside The Fitness Box gym is unveiled by, from left, gym owner Lloyd Scott, fitness instructor Carol Atherton, the Deputy Mayor of Mansfield, Cllr Craig Whitby, local councillor David Coxhead and Joanne Bradford, of the gym.

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The Fitness Box campaign, which raised £3,800, was spearheaded by gym member and fitness instructor Carol Atherton.

At the heart of it was an Ironman Challenge in which 15 members completed a 26.2-mile run, a 122-mile cycle on static spin-bikes and a 2.9-mile row on rowing machines, all inside one day.

The Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abraham, gave £2,000 from his Mayor’s Fund, and generous donations were also made by local businesses.

The other two defibrillators will be housed at The Fitness Box, one inside and one outside that can be accessed by the public 24/7.

Carol says Mansfield Woodhouse now has six defibrillators in total – the others being on Park Hall Road, at the Manor Sport and Recreation Centre, which hosts weekly parkruns, and at Debdale Park Sports Club.

Fitness Box owner Lloyd Scott, 59, who spent 22 years in the Army, is full of praise for everyone who supported the fundraising.

"They have been awesome,” he said. “The defibrillators will be valuable assets to a busy community.

"We hope to never have to use them, but even the fittest people can become sick at any moment, so we want to be able to help if that ever happened.

"The defibrillators will serve the area and its residents for many years to come.”