The inauguration of San Cassiano’s first defibrillator this Sunday was a very happy and well-attended event. I was amazed to find that Paul Anthony Davies and his wife Morena (who was born in San Cassiano) had managed to raise the near two thousand euros required to purchase the defibrillator in the space of just three months. Paul first got the idea last May. From a few initial donations a true avalanche of offerings began to pour in from all sections of the San Cassiano community.
This is a real proof of how it just needs the drive and perseverance of the right persons to achieve life-enhancing goals in even small settlements.
(Morena and Paul without whose inititiative San Cassiano would not have had its defibrillator today)
The inauguration started with the blessing of the defibrillator by Don Franco, our parish priest, in front of the ravishing façade of San Cassiano church.
Speeches were made by the representative of the mayor and other dignitaries but, of course, the last and best words came from Paul and Morena who received a hearty applause from all present.
The buffet was served in stalls specially set up before the church square and was most delicious, ranging from pizzas to pastries and both hard and soft drinks The San Cassiano museum was also open with its delectable statue of the horseman (Saint Martin?) wood-sculpted by Della Quercia.
This was a truly sociable event attracting the many little ‘frazioni’ of San Cassiano into one whole.
The defibrillator will have training courses on how to use it and will be placed under a special alarm system by the side of the museum. The local branch of the Italian Red Cross plan to map out all the defibrillators in the area so that wherever one is one can know that in case of difficulty there will not only be the ambulance coming from Bagni di Lucca but also, much nearer at hand, the use of a defibrillator. In cardiac situations seconds separate life from death.
Truly the inauguration was a life-enriching event. One doesn’t have to be a particular age to suffer from heart conditions. In fact, the defibrillator could be used in situations where over-exertion by the youngest people in sports, such as mountain biking, could cause serious conditions as recent events have shown .
I, for one, feel I can sleep more safely tonight than ever before since I came into this lovely area of Italy with its community-conscious band of inhabitants.