John’s heartfelt thanks to lodge

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A freemason who suffered a heart attack last year has donated a defibrillator to the hall where it happened.

John Sandilands (68), who lives in Bridgeness, Bo’ness, was preparing one of the lodge meetings in Market Lane, Linlithgow, when he had the cardiac arrest last October.

Paramedics were quickly on the scene and had to resuscitate John but he made a full recovery after stints in Forth Valley Hospital and the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.

Five months later and John – a caretaker in Lodge Hopetoun St John – along with his wife Marion and the rest of his family, met with lodge members on Tuesday.

They presented a defibrillator – which cost £1000 out of their own pocket – to Norman Austin and David Paterson who represents the Lodge Ancient Brazen.

His wife Marion (66) said: “If it had not been for the ambulance team, my husband wouldn’t have been here.

“We appreciate what they did for him and the care he got thereafter.”

Ray Newton, secretary and past master of the lodge, added: “Things did not look good for John and had it not been for the prompt attention that he received from paramedics, which included the use of a defibrillator, then things could have been quite different.

“In appreciation of the care John received, the Sandilands family has donated a defibrillator which will be located within the Masonic Hall in Linlithgow.

“Members of the Lodge have been on training courses – but they hope that they never need to use the defibrillator for real.

“However, it is of some comfort to know that should the need arise it is there and available to all that make use of the premises in Linlithgow.”