PRESTWICK has its first lifesaving public access defibrillator after thousands were raised by a determined couple.

John and Tracy Wallace launched the AED equipment box on Saturday (June 29) on Prestwick’s Main Street. The box will sit outside the 65 club right at the heart of shopping centre in the town.

John wants this to be the start of a further three boxes to be put in place across Prestwick with one planned for the beach, further along the Main St and at Prestwick Toll.

The couple have been motivated through their own personal experience, with Tracy living through a heart condition which despite being operated on is incurable.

They hope that the community will get behind the idea to help raise more cash to give victims of a deadly cardiac arrest a fighting chance.

John told the Ayr Advertiser: “Prestwick is in our hearts. We want to save lives it’s a great thing for the town to have. The equipment does not come cheap, but we hope we can raise more funds and get a further three defibrators in the town.”

The life saving boxes come with clear how to use instructions when an emergency crisis strikes. The defibrillator can give the patient the all-important shock to their heart before an ambulance arrives.

A patient’s survival chances can increase up to 80 percent if the shock is given within the first three minutes, according to AED. Each station comes at the cost of £2,000 and through an initial online effort and support from local funding, John managed to raise enough for the first defibrillator.

John added: “The defibrillators are really easy to use; they don’t shock if they have to. There should be one in every town or village, to give people a fighting chance.”

A spokesperson for AED donate said: “Having the defibrillator installed means that it can be deployed by the local ambulance trust in a bid to give the patient the all-important shock to the heart prior to the ambulance arrival.”

Councillor Hugh Hunter for Prestwick told the Ayr Advertiser: “This is a life saving initiative and I offer them my full support in their fund raising efforts to acquire another two defibrillators for our town. I would urge everyone to throw their weight behind this initiative.”