Article | Built in Wellington, used in Wellington

Built in Wellington, used in Wellington

Man seen stumbling in CBD — defibrillator finding app crucial in saving him

Our app showing AED locations nationwide saved a local life this week. Well done to Alea for using the app to find her nearest defibrillator. Great to see so many AEDs available in the Cuba Mall area:

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Quick thinking Body Shop worker Alea Wharekura used the AED finding app on her phone to locate a portable defibrillator, which was crucial in saving the man’s life.

Alea Wharekura has the AED Locations app on her phone

Alea Wharekura has the AED Locations app on her phone

Technology was crucial in saving a man’s life after he was seen stumbling and sickly down a busy Wellington street.

By using a defibrillator locating app developed in New Zealand — and CPR — a group of medical students, shopkeepers, and emergency services worked together and helped save the 67-year-old’s life after he was spotted by Platypus Shoes staff members weaving past the Manners St shop in the CBD on Thursday afternoon.

Quick thinking Body Shop worker Alea Wharekura used the AED finding app on her phone to locate a portable defibrillator upstairs from Platypus Shoes in the old James Smiths building. The machine and CPR were used to save the man — thought to have had a cardiac arrest — who had become unresponsive near the Manners St shops

This group of medical students — pictured with Constable Sandy Cumpstone — leapt into action and performed CPR on the man.

Wharekura had the app because she had just done a first aid course and said the technology was invaluable as many people didn’t know how many of the life-saving devices there were around.


The AED Locations site and app link to Google Maps so users can search for the closest defibrillator.

Platypus Shoes workers, from left, Sam Barnes, Laura Sutherland-Hardy, Paris Evans and Jacob Williams were part of an impromptu first response unit who helped save a man.

Platypus worker Paris Evans said he and other staff members had noticed the man leaning slumped in the doorway of the shop gasping for air before collapsing, turning purple and becoming unresponsive.

He was laid on the ground as one of a group of medical students began doing CPR — the defibrillator arrived and Evans let the device instruct him as CPR continued.

“We would have been struggling waiting for an ambulance so I highly recommend [defibrillators] for every building,” Evans said.

Kerry Simeon is disappointed nobody reached out to borrow his bar’s defibrillator when a person suffered a cardiac arrest across the road from his New Plymouth pub.

Meanwhile emergency services soon arrived and took over CPR.

Before being taken to hospital the man regained consciousness and was breathing again.

“Although not out of the woods at that point, it was a great sight to see for all involved.”

Police said the man was now doing well and was on the road to recovery.

Late last month New Plymouth bar owner Kerry Simeon said he was frustrated nobody came and got a defibrillator from his business after an 82-year-old died after going into cardiac arrest near the pub.

Simeon is now calling for more businesses to invest in the medical device and for better promotion of where they are available.

According to a website which allows people to register the devices, there are 8971 portable registered defibrillators across the country, including 442 in Wellington city and suburbs.


Last updated 13:48, May 31 2018

- Stuff

Originally published at

Where will you be when you’re a bystander to a heart attack?

AED Locations will guide you to your nearest defibrillators.

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