THE death of her sister prompted a nurse to offer a vital spark to the people of Rosyth.

Sheila Hammond, 57, of Ramsey Place, has bought a defibrillator for Parkgate Centre in Susan's memory.

The portable device, which will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can prove the difference between life and death for anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest.

Sheila said: "I'm a nurse, have been all my days, and I work for a small family business in West Lothian, Albacare Ltd, that offers occupational health and first aid training while we also supply defibrillators.

"When I lost my sister at the start of this year, Susan died from cancer rather than anything cardiac-related, I thought it would be nice to do this in her memory.

"She worked for Sky and they paid out for death in service. I didn't want her life to go to waste so we used some of the money for a defibrillator.

"If it means one person's life is saved, and the family are spared from going through that pain and loss, then it will all be worthwhile."

Defibrillators will only deliver an electric shock to the patient if it detects a ‘shockable’ heart rhythm.

She continued: "They are very easy to use, you put the pads on and the machine tells you what to do.

"You can't misuse them, which is a fear I think some people have, and they can be vital.

"The survival rate for a patient jumps from six per cent to 74 per cent if a defibrillator is used within three-to-five minutes of a cardiac arrest.

"That's huge."

Sheila said she wasn't aware of many public access defibrillators in Rosyth and felt the Parkgate Centre was the ideal spot.

The defibrillator, which cost about £1,500, will be kept in a temperature-controlled cabinet on the outside wall of the building in the Public Park.

She explained: "I think there's one at the parish church but I looked on the map and this seemed the best place.

"I've been to the farmers' market there, it's near the library and the sports fields, the gala is held there too. I wanted it to be accessible."

Fife Council have submitted a planning application for the work and community use team manager Scott Fenton said: “After losing her sister, Shelia wanted to help save lives.

"As a nurse, she is acutely aware how much a defibrillator can improve someone's chances of survival.

“This is a new addition to the centre and the local community. It will be a public access automated external defibrillator located outside the building.

"It will be available early in the New Year and is being fitted alongside a new reception area.”

Someone who has had a cardiac arrest – which is different from a heart attack – will be unconscious and will not be breathing properly.

The casualty's heart stops beating unexpectedly and, classed as clinically dead, without help they generally have minutes to live. Around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the UK every year.