The family of sailor, Dennis Shiels, have given a heartfelt thank you to both the boating community of Preston Marina and Preston Emergency Services, after both came to his aide when he suffered a heart attack on board his boat.
Shiels, 67, along with friend, Robert Mathews, purchased the vessel, The Jubilee, earlier this year and had recently moored her in the waters of Preston Marina.
They were just days away from taking the boat on her maiden voyage when on July 2nd, Shiels went into cardiac arrest as he worked aboard.
He was quickly spotted by two other boat owners and a young woman employed at the Marina, who rushed to his aide, performing life saving CPR and even using the marina’s brand new defibrillator, before alerting the emergency services.
His daughter Christina, has revealed the family have launched a fundraiser for the emergency services staff, as their way of saying thank you for the help their Father received.
“We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed to our dad.” She stated. “As a family, we are focused on giving something back as a thank you to the support we have received from those that found and tended to our dad.”
As a way to raise funds, Christina says the family decided to undertake a 32-mile walk along the coast to support the establishments who helped to save Dennis’ life.
Commencing the walk from Fleetwood Marina, where The Jubilee was originally docked, the troupe came down through Cleveleys, Blackpool and St. Anne’s before finishing at Royal Preston Hospital, where Dennis is currently receiving treatment.
Nine members of Dennis’ close family and friends completed the walk which took 11.5 hours and have raised a staggering £5,400 for the Critical Care Unit at Royal Preston Hospital, along with the North West Ambulance Service and to provide replacement pads for the defibrillator and Preston Marina.
Christina said: “We all found the walk incredibly tough but we were doing it for such personal reasons that we were motivated by dad and that really helped us through those last few miles.”
Dennis currently remains in a stable condition in Preston’s Critical Care Unit.
If you wish to donate to the Shiel’s family’s cause, you can find the link here.