Defibrillators legacy in memory of Neil

Newcastle Eagles basketball players joining with the Ambulance Service and other partners who have come together to place defribrillators in different places, including TyneMet College. Christine Stephenson whose brother Neil Best died suddenly with his wife Kelly are helping promote the campaign. GM023162
Newcastle Eagles basketball players joining with the Ambulance Service and other partners who have come together to place defribrillators in different places, including TyneMet College. Christine Stephenson whose brother Neil Best died suddenly with his wife Kelly are helping promote the campaign. GM023162

A family looking to prevent the same tragedy they went through have helped secure defribrillators in four schools.

Ten years ago, Neil Best died at his home in Dudley at the age of 32 after suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest.

His wife Kelly and his sister Christine Stephenson have since joined a campaign to get as many AEDs (automated external defibrillators) placed at key venues as part of the Arrhythmia Alliance’s Hearts & Goals campaign.

The first defibrillator was placed at Fordley Primary School in June, and the sisters-in-law have recently secured a £4,200 grant from P&G in Seaton Delaval for four more in TyneMet College, Longbenton Community College, Seaton Burn College and Northumberland Church of England Academy.

They were joined by players and coaches from the Newcastle Eagles to hand over the lifesaving equipment last week.

Christine said: “It is so important we get as many defibrillators into schools and communities as possible.

“When Neil passed away he had absolutely no warning, he was a very fit young man.

“We are determined to continue to provide a lasting legacy for Neil.”

The family want to place as many of the devices as possible in memory of Neil, who played football with Alan Shearer in his youth.

A host of fundraising activities are already planned, including a Winter Wonderland ball in December.