Honour for man who installed life-saving machines... from top of Snowdon to a town near you.
Byline: MARI JONES Daily Post Reporter email@example.com
A MAN who saved countless lives by campaigning for and installing 400 defibrillators across North Wales, has been honoured by the Queen.
Tomos Hughes, from Betws y Coed, was so passionate about the benefits of the machines that he had one installed on top of Snowdon which has already saved three lives.
Tomos's quest to install as many defibrillators as possible across the region started around four years ago when he put one up in his own village.
The 43-year-old said: "I was responsible for putting one in my home village and then the next village and the next and it all snowballed from there.
"I've installed more than 400 defibrillators over the past four years, from Anglesey to Machynlleth, including one at the summit of Snowdon."
He started off as a volunteer first responder and recently has been appointed as a full-time support worker looking after all the defibrillators he has installed, working with the Welsh Ambulance Service and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
"I maintain the 400 I installed plus another 300 including checking them after use and ensuring they are ready for emergencies in the future," he said. "As a first responder I saw first time how important it was for them to be in rural communities.
"As you only have a very short space of time to save someone if they go into cardiac arrest, and sometimes it can take ambulances quite a while to get to a rural area, so using a defibrillator is crucial."
Last week Tomos was invited to attend a tea party at Buckingham Palace, attended by the Queen, after the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd presented the BEM (British Empire Medal) Award to him, in recognition of his tireless work.
His outstanding work came to the attention of Anne Jolly, founder of the national cardiac charity SADS UK, and Arrhythmia Nurse Julie Starling from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd who were keen to support Tomos in his efforts to save lives of people who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
Tomos added: "I'm as passionate as ever about what I do, but now have the backing of the health board and the Welsh Ambulance Service, it means we can install defibrillators in schools and more remote areas.
"We can together provide lifesaving training to improve the out of hospital cardiac arrest survival statistics which are sadly under 3%."