A NEW defibrillator is set to be unveiled in Cwmbran, after the death of a well-known community figure.

In June, Malcolm Fry was travelling back to his home in the Gwent town after a trip to Newport, when he started feeling unwell.

He exited the bus on which he was travelling, hoping to seek help at his local allotment, but collapsed on Ton Road while making that journey, having suffered a heart attack.

Passers by were able to call for help, and the ambulance control operator told them to find and use a defibrillator, as paramedics were on their way.

Unfortunately, that part of town doesn’t have a public defibrillator – though the nearby Holly Lodge care home was able to offer their private device for use.

Mr Fry was taken to hospital, where he, along with his daughter Melisa, and niece Andrea, decided that they wanted to ensure that no family would find themselves without access to a defibrillator in future.

Together, along with family friend Gary Hewings, they started a fundraiser to install a public defibrillator to be located on the outside wall of the Holly Lodge home.

Sadly, three weeks after his initial heart attack, Mr Fry’s health deteriorated, and he died in hospital on July 6.

Originally from Pill in Newport, he had lived in Cwmbran for many years, and was especially well known around the Coed Eva Allotments, where he served as treasurer.

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Fundraising efforts pick up steam

In the weeks following Mr Fry’s death, the local community in Cwmbran came together to fundraise for a defibrillator, now in his memory.

His former place of employment, the Halfway Hotel, started a collection, while local football team Cwmbran Celtic held a fundraising night.

They received further support from the rest of their family and friends, local pubs, the care home, and heart charity Calon Heart.

All told, £1,406 was raised – enough to install an all-important defibrillation device.

Later this week, the defibrillator will be unveiled, on a date which holds extra significance for the family.

Speaking to the Argus, Mr Fry's daughter Melisa said: “My dad was taken poorly, and collapsed right by the Holly Lodge home. He was so unwell that the ambulance control told us to get a defibrillator.

“When he was in hospital he wanted to do something to help in future.

“We’re now unveiling the defib in his memory.

“Beside the device, there will be a plaque, and it is being unveiled on Thursday, on what would have been his 71st birthday.”

The defibrillator device will be unveiled and operational on Ton Road in Cwmbran from Thursday, November 25.

You can find an interactive map showing publicly accessible defibrillation devices across Wales here.