Jamie's mum to lead campaign walk to bring emergency services back to Rugby - The Rugby Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

Jamie's mum to lead campaign walk to bring emergency services back to Rugby

Andy Morris 11th Jul, 2022

A DETERMINED bereaved mum whose teenage son died following a cardiac arrest is leading an awareness walk to bring emergency services back to Rugby.

Jamie ‘Jay’ Rees’ heart stopped in the early hours of New Year’s Day. The nearest ambulance, in Coventry, took over 17 minutes to reach him. The 18-year-old passed away four days later.

Mum Naomi Rees Issitt, who has since been campaigning to bring an Accident and Emergency department and an ambulance station back to Rugby, will lead 17 other women on a 17.3km walk – one kilometre for each minute Jamie waited for an ambulance.

She says delays in ambulance response times are ‘proving catastrophic’ in Rugby since the Rugby Community Ambulance Station – the base of the only ambulance which started and ended its shift in Rugby – was closed by West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) in 2021.

She said: “Jay was failed catastrophically by WMAS.

“Jay’s friends did everything they possibly could to save him. Had there been ambulances stationed in Rugby, or transferring patients to an A&E department in Rugby, Jamie could have been reached in less than seven minutes, increasing his chance of survival by more than 56 per cent.

“Jay would have had a chance of survival and our beautiful boy may still have been here with us today. He is missed terribly by everyone.

“Rugby’s population is fast growing. People are dying waiting for ambulances. The town is too big not to have emergency services. It simply cannot carry on. More lives will be lost.

“We keep being told that Rugby is ‘heading for a catastrophe’, but as Jamie’s family, who love him so so much, we are already in that catastrophe.”

Naomi has helped to raise over £23,000 to install external accessible defibrillators across the town, and her petition to bring A&E and ambulances back to Rugby has attracted over 8,300 signatures so far – and she is determined to spread the word.

On Sunday July 17, she will lead her fellow walkers from Jamie’s home to Rugby College, where he spent many years and where the first of the defibrillators was installed in his memory.

Naomi said: “We need to show just how much this means to the people of Rugby. Something has to change.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ourjay donate to the defibrillator fund-raising campaign.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/4cytbxav to sign the petition.

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