Speech by Sally at the IAS annual lunch Sept 27 2018

by Sally AngellJames


For those of you who had never come across my husband he was a man who adored the property business and his sheds. I can’t tell you how many times on a car journey I have been persuaded to check out some industrial site and have a furtive glance at what the competition might be doing . You’ve all done it I’m sure!

He also loved a gathering. Quite often after a lunch such as this he had to be picked up from a train station somewhere near the coast of Wales as he slept past his stop in Shrewsbury. Its quite far. ‘Sally Babes’ he used to say to me ‘You don’t know how lucky you are? 7 nights a year I can let my hair down because, for you, I am 98% perfect. What this actually meant he was carousing with his friends and colleagues, chatting about property, the rugby and how many baked bean tins we needed for when Armageddon hit.

But all this came to an end in October 2017 when he had a heart attack on the train home. This was a family man with a sophisticated brain who believed in the simple things in life. And his life was cut short at the age of 54.

It was devastating.

But in time we wanted to do something positive in his name.

Where to start? And what should we do?

And suddenly it was obvious. Heart disease is the UK’s biggest killer.

And consider this: Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, even those who are seemingly healthy.

Whenever cardiac arrest strikes, there is absolutely no time to lose.

The facts speak for themselves. If you have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting and a defibrillator is used within 3-5 minutes, survival rates jump from 6 per cent to 74 per cent.

Without immediate treatment, 90-95 per cent of cardiac arrests prove fatal.

So we have set up the Henry Angell James Memorial Trust to help fund and provide Automated External Defibrillator (AED’s) in communities that really need them throughout the West Midlands to start off with. We have a partnership with the West Midlands Ambulance Service who will provide free training and advice on the best place in that community for the AED to be installed.

We have raised funds to purchase and install 15 AED’s in the last year…which is fairly amazing given we have not really started a fundraising programme and only have a temporary website for people to donate. Yet as we get everything properly organised our vision is to raise significant funds to address the need for more AED’s and the training that goes with them.

The IAS, you guys, have been a fantastic supporter of this fledgling charity. And the reason I am standing here today is our hope would be that, with your continued support, the installation of a Henry Angell James Memorial Trust defibrillator in ALL new warehouse developments was standard and that they are for public access. It would be good for the community and it would be good for you.

It’s simple: AED’s can make all the difference between death and life.

And I know what I would choose.

Thank you