Matlock church unveils new defibrillator after worshipper's heart attack sparks fundraising campaign

A Matlock church is hoping to help delay any potential meetings with St Peter after installing a new defibrillator with funds donated by the community.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 9:50 am
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 9:51 am

The congregation of Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Church, on Bank Road, launched a fundraising campaign after one of their members Terry McDermott, collapsed with a heart attack.

Thankfully, their prayers were answered and paramedics arrived quickly on the scene to save his life. He was taken by air ambulance to the Royal Derby Hospital and has since made an amazing recovery.

Parish priest Father Robbie O’Callaghan said: “We are all so very grateful to the emergency services that saved Terry’s life, something we take for granted until it is needed.

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From left, Terry McDermott, Ray Stone and Father Robbie O’Callaghan.

“I hope this defibrillator is hardly ever used in the future, but it is there just in case.”

To give thanks for the help they received in a moment of crisis, the parish community raised nearly £3,000 to purchasing a defibrillator and the external wall cabinet for mounting on the outside of the church.

The device is accessible to the whole community of Matlock, around the clock, and will help with the network of existing defibrillator machines across Derbyshire.

Ray Stone, a member of the church’s finance committee, said: “Our parish lives a missionary model and looks towards the wider community, as well as it’s parish members.”

There are thought to be around 50 defibrillators accessible around Matlock and its surrounding towns and villages, as more and more have come to see the value of a device which could make the difference between life and death.

To help someone who is in cardiac arrest effectively, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible. The first action should always be to call 999 and then begin CPR, but the sooner a defibrillator can be accessed, the better the chance’s of a person’s survival.

No training is needed as there are clear instructions on the device, and it will only activate following an assessment of the heart rhythm.

Local resident Pete Watts has been assembling an online map of all the locations which people could turn to in an emergency, and it is being updated all the time. See

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