'He could have died' - Yobs snatch defib

A community on the outskirts of the city is in shock after a defibrillator was reported stolen on July 22.

A community on the outskirts of the city is in shock after a defibrillator was reported stolen on July 22. - Credit: Stephanie Sykes / Jayne Biggs

A man who suffered a suspected heart attack "could have died" thanks to thieves who nabbed a nearby defibrillator.

Stephanie Sykes, shop supervisor for The Walled Garden in Little Plumstead, was working on July 22 when the alarm was raised.

The defibrillator is an open box so people don't need a code to get to it.

The defibrillator is an open box so people don't need a code to get to it. - Credit: Stephanie Sykes

The 38-year-old said: "A lady came running in because her husband had collapsed in the shower.

"She said he was having a suspected heart attack.

"The woman had called 999 who directed her to the defibrillator on our building.

"However when she opened up the box it wasn't there.

"It's an open box so you don't need a code to get to it.

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"She left straight after."

Jayne Biggs and her daughter Violet, 16. When Violet was seven she suffered a cardiac arrest

Jayne Biggs and her daughter Violet, 16. When Violet was seven she suffered a cardiac arrest and a defibrillator saved her life - Credit: Jayne Biggs

Tess Scott, clerk of Great and Little Plumstead Parish Council, said: "The Parish Council has put word out in the hope that it's been used without the ambulances' knowledge and could be returned.

"But it's looking likely that it was unfortunately stolen.

"We're obviously shocked and upset about what has happened.  

"The defibrillator was installed for the community to help should the worse happen. 

"This just feels like a completely senseless act.

Defibrillators give a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Defibrillators give a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest - that can be used in case of an emergency. - Credit: Stephanie Sykes

"Unfortunately we haven't had an update regarding the man who collapsed."

Jayne Biggs of Bradwell, near Gorleston-on-Sea, set up Heart 2 Heart in 2016 to provide 24/7 public access defibrillators says the equipment could still be found.

The 50-year-old said: "It's really rare that a defibrillator is stolen.  

"If a 999 call was made it can be played back if they think it’s been stolen or been missing for a couple of weeks.

"All my defibrillators have my contact details on the back of them.

The Walled Garden, in Little Plumstead, where the defibrillator was stolen.

The Walled Garden, in Little Plumstead, where the defibrillator was stolen. - Credit: Stephanie Sykes

"Don’t give up hope, it could come back, as it’s only been a couple of weeks."

A Broadland District council leader and member for Plumstead said: "I was really disappointed to hear about the theft of this vital medical equipment.

"A theft which has potentially put lives at risk.

"The defibrillator is there to be used in an emergency situation and it’s important that it be replaced as soon as possible."